I really am an Idler at heart, the one thing that has kept me going doing what I am doing is the dread that if I fail I will have to go back and get a “proper job” in some soulless office, with strip lights and recycled air (is it me or is the average office space perfectly designed to inhibit work? Strip lights? They are good for the concentration and don’t cause headaches, aren’t they?) doing something largely pointless just for the sake of it. What William Morris called useless toil.
When I was younger I always wanted to be a rock star, my utter lack of musical ability and crippling shyness scuppered that, however, years later I realised that it wasn’t that I really wanted to be rock star, that was just the only way my teenage mind could manifest the idea of wanting to be free, to be in charge of my own destiny and make money doing what I love. Being a rock star was the only “career” I had come across at that time that fulfilled that criteria.
Being a bit of a William Blake fan (after reading “The Tiger” in 2000AD when I was about 12) I have always been suspicious of authority and can be quite childishly stubborn about such things, so I got out of structured education and got myself a job. Very quickly I realised this working lark wasn’t for me and I started looking for ways out (some could say, this “exploring a way” was really “daydreaming and fantasy”), it took me almost 10 years to figure out how to get out.
All this sounds like I am anti-work, but far from it. I work very hard, the thing is I love what I do. I think the secret to Slow Work is for everyone to find that work, career or pastime that they love doing, a true vocation. Then you are paid to do what you love and it isn’t really work anymore is it? Or as Confucius said “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work again“.
Talking of not having a proper job, I have recently been fascinated by Michael Palin, having read a conversation he had with the Idler back in 2006 (you can read it here) after a one man show entitled “Forty Years Without a Proper Job”. I am looking forward to reading his diaries, as soon as I have finished reading some research on my latest New Escapologist article “The School of Wayward Buddhism – A Radical Reinterpretation of the Teachings of Siddhartha Gautama”. Interested? You will have to get the next issue of the New Escapologist to read more.
Other than that, I have been tinkering with this site (I have added some new subtle features such as the “Most Popular Posts” over there on the sidebar and “Related Posts” at the bottom of each entry to help you find your way round more easily) and watching the onset of autumn.
My life really is rather simple and quiet, and I like it that way.
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