June 22, 2010

Lazy is Good

June 22, 2010

When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would post at least once a week. It’s only taken me a couple of months (not too shabby) to go back on my word.

This past weekend came and went without so much as a twitch of my fingers or a twinge of guilt over not writing or even wanting to write.

What’s going on here? The imp, that mischievous green, slimy creature that I described recently in “The Imp and Me” and that rides my shoulder for most of the year, is on vacation. He usually takes off around now, his departure coinciding with the first day of the Wimbledon championships and ending on the day after the men’s final.

He must understand that he simply can’t compete with the allure of all that tennis.

I love Wimbledon and not just because the lawns are green and the accents are tony. When it’s on, which it is nearly 24/7 courtesy of the Tennis Channel, I have the perfect excuse for watching TV in the middle of the day or first thing in the morning, if I feel the urge.

I don’t have to work right now, I tell myself. The tournament won’t last indefinitely, and it only happens once every fifty-two weeks. So I’m covered. I can be lazy and love it, staring mindlessly as that white spheroid spins, slides, and pops its way back and forth across the net, causing fist pumps on one side, muttering and thrown rackets on the other.

On Monday, I held my breath along with the rest of the world as Roger Federer, the reigning king of Wimbledon, nearly lost in the first round, before finally summoning his concentration and administering a bagel (where his opponent won a nice fat, starchy, creamed-cheese zero games) in the fifth and deciding set.

Afterwards, when someone asked him how he finally pulled out the victory, he said, in typical, understated Roger fashion, “Well, I’ve lost a few that I should’ve won, so this time I won one I should’ve lost.”

Hmmm. This level of deadpan reminds me of a Sports Illustrated interview with Bjorn Borg, no slouch at Wimbledon himself, from many years ago.

“How do you win so consistently?” the SI reporter asked.

“I get the ball over the net one more time than my opponent,” Borg replied.

Brilliant. Succinct. And impossibly hard to do on a regular basis for us mere mortals.

What does all this have to do with writing? By watching tennis until I’m bleary-eyed and dopey, am I honing my skills, preparing for the next big project? Am I clearing away the detritus in my brain, behaving in a sensible, writerly fashion? Or have I turned into a total slacker?

Damned if I know. I’m just sitting here, having some fun while my imp is away.

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