There is glamour in laziness. It’s a kind of glimmering in the eye accompanied by lithe movements; like a Southern Georgia drawl, it is only possible to attain after years of indolence in the absence of worry. You cannot summon it; it must descend on you like lacy film. I feel rich in these moments, as if I were born for it. Don’t we all imagine that we should have been rich and famous and yet somehow something went wrong; something completely beyond your own control? Why else would we object so stridently to hard work? Because of the ache in our bones? Because our joints complain? No – it is the mind which will not accept this unwitting labor of the body, which we much prefer to swathe with well-deserved inactivity and general laxity of imperative.
I’ve been told that the human brain has evolved in layers, with the human mind wrapped around the ape mind, wrapped around the animal mind, wrapped around the lizard mind. It’s this animal brain with which I concern myself today.
This subconscious, less-than-animal thing beyond our own perception: I believe it must rule most of our actions. It is said that the limbic system / animal brain is responsible for our moods and addictions, and thus the blind impetus for all we do. All other brains subsequently evolved, enfolding into itself its predecessor brain. Society, they say, is what drives the brain’s evolution, being the primary driving force for any endeavor toward morality in an effort to avoid harming others. But I wonder: what about this newest human brain we have now, which makes humankind apparently willing and able, with little provocation, to devour another human? Avarice is the new religion; greed and gain and control and lust for all of these through power. Laziness, then, is the ultimate expression of wealth and avarice, for, how can we forgive ourselves for failing to strive and strain, thrive and thrust, labor and become lame to contribute to this all-important society, a brotherhood of man. Or so Gandhi would have us believe.
My husband has just left the house and I am laying in bed, reveling in this rare moment of indulgent immobility. The sheets are slightly odorous in that homey way, telling me that there are things to be done, should I decide upon a course of productivity for today. Homey, homely sheets. My lizard brain rejects this idea instantly. I lie there until my shoulders begin to ache with laziness and my stomach’s complaining in hunger will no longer be ignored. In the kitchen, my cat is yowling and giving me that predatory, baleful gaze he has designed especially for me; a wonderfully manipulative creature.
And so we eat. I watch the cat crunching stoically, dreaming of paintings I might begin, fantasies I might entertain on the canvas in a flurried mess of acrylics. No. Today is for writing, and so I begin…