29. Poor Dan

Once again I am struck with that stultifying apathy toward my work. It is interesting to experience these polarised attitudes to work whilst being aware of their opposites: I have not forgotten the enthusiasm I felt a few days ago. However, it remains, and it is not an unfamiliar supposition, that I feel as though there is no music left. Here is the last of it (not really), it is unfinished:

Burglary right click and ‘save as’

Today’s could be regarded as the biggest failure so-far (but then again, is there such a thing as failure, given the broad scheme of the project?) and I am compelled to ask why. The thought occurs that it is mere laziness – though for me this throws up questions about the nature of laziness as an abstract: If laziness is a failure to fulfil potential, then is it not to be figured in the sum total of that potential? A paradox, I know. You could express it thus:

(Where p = potential and l = laziness)

p = p – l


l = O


Laziness does not exist.

Not that I would regard today’s failure as the result of laziness. The sensation was more akin (as above) to apathy. I did try repeatedly to finish the song. I deleted all the recordings I made. What, then, am I to understand from this – given that at other times I have felt similar and yet pressed on?

If it is the fault of laziness, why do I succumb now? I should point out that I gave up with more than an hour to go before my deadline, which I have desperately run over in the past. It feels like laziness because I know I could have continued the remaining hour. The question is, why did I not do so? There are various possible answers.

One interesting (and vaguely face saving) possibility is that I felt a preciousness and perfectionism about this piece. Any continuation would have spoiled it. Not that I think the way it is now is particularly good, otherwise this internal debate would not have been sparked, but rather everything I deleted was exceedingly bad.

I am finding it difficult to think.

So long.


3 Responses to “29. Poor Dan”

  1. mum Says:

    I really like this piece, it’s light hearted but also subtle and complex

  2. khalil Says:

    Apparently, according to Sara Maitland, who has now made a comprehensive study of silence and solitude based on her own experience and researching the accounts of others, there is a conditoin that afflicts hermits and solitary dwellers. Its called accidie and is an extreme case of lethargy and inertia, particuarly prevalent after mid-day, and has been the bain of many. The monks even had special prayers to try and ward it off. Sara’a book is a very intellectual study of silence but is interesting nonetheless. She does write that her 40 days of silence and solitude has pretty much informed and under scored her life ever since and she is a lady who had had a full and engaging life up to that point. She writes very much about the existential experience of the solitude itself, something you have touched upon but not to the extent that I would have expected. But then she does say that her research was not easy, most hermits or solitary adventurers are men and men are notoriously reserved about their inner life and emotions. So on that scale you are pretty forthcoming!! I’ll post later about some of the common experiences of those in voluntary isolation.

  3. Tasneem Says:

    Yesterday was a bad day for motivation here too… blame it on the moon?

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