Serious idleness

It seems I run from idleness. I’m fond of saying I should come with a warning—the kind one finds on the back of the driver’s-side sun-visor in a car: “Does not idle well.” It takes concerted effort for me to idle, and yet I cannot discern what it is that makes me run from idleness. But this guy? He seems to have gone all in…

‘Most of the time I don’t do anything. I am the idlest man in Paris … the only one who does less than I do is a whore without clients.’

Cioran may have been joking, but his idleness was serious business. It was an arduous lifetime project, into which he put his best efforts and which he served with complete dedication.

~ Costica Bradatan from,


Honestly? My first thought was how does such a person support themselves? (They don’t. Others do.) After dialing down my snark, I was left noticing that there’s a sharp polarization to elevate idleness to a virtue, or to revile it as glorified laziness. Nonetheless, I must admit that to be idle requires me to first say ‘no’ to many ideas, things and opportunities. So maybe that’s the key: To be self-aware enough to thread my way between those two poles?