Saturday Morning: ‘idlesse oblige’


Aristotle said, ‘Nature requires us not only to be able to work well but also to idle well.’ Sigh. It’s so hard. The Idea of the Idle which disses and rejects the clock is an ambition harder than it seems. To really play is to let go of the hand of the clock, to dive deep into the fathoms of time – a state of water this, deep play, with affinities to music, art, sex, deep drinking and deep thought. It is a chancy, risky, fluxy, underwater world where immersion in the moment is all. This wild time is far richer, though far flukier, than clock-time, this is time enlivened and various, time as fast and slow as a waterfall’s cascade. It is not necessarily easy to be in, for its waters are uncontrolled by a clock, uncommanded and uncharted. Without a clock you are on your own and it is a difficult but rich experience, this, the beautiful duress of ludic creativity – idlesse oblige.”

– Jay Griffiths, A Sideways Look at Time



  1. Idle ..I do lot easily 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So hard to do….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah-h-h-h-h, yes! Life is so good when we live it. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this must be harder for people who are generally “on the clock.” You poor saps who have serious, important jobs and answer to Authority. Substitute Bullwhip for Clock, and the difficulty of getting rid of that ingrained flinch is easier to understand.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. i absolutely love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Word….to the recently retired ! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My fall-back: meditation time!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Makes me think of Idyllwild, nestled in the San Jacinto mountains, set among tall pines and sweet smelling cedars, where there is nothing much to do but idle wildly.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aristotle 384 BC
    2016. What life changing things we Could learn from what he wrote ages ago.
    “We are what we repeatedly, do.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had some idle today…make time for it. And never regret it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That nape is certainly blog worthy. E.

    Liked by 1 person

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