David Hockney; Inspiration Never Visits the Lazy
I watched a YouTube video of the artist, David Hockney over the weekend. He was answering questions people sent in on Twitter. “Do you find the current fiscal and moral crisis an inspiration to your work or a distraction?” He sat back, smiled a Cheshire Cat smile and said, “Ah, inspiration. She never visits the lazy.” First, I want to thank him for considering inspiration’s origin my female gender. But second, and perhaps more importantly, it made me pause.
Sometimes my pauses can be mistaken for laziness. I can pause all afternoon, and if it happens to be in front of Turner Home Movie’s thirty-thousandth showing of Pretty Woman, all the better. I’m a short distance runner. I go at high speed and then crash for whatever time, and then start up at high speed again. I struggle with the term lazy, as it’s something I really have always considered as an adjective that does in fact describe me.
“You are crazy,” friends will comment when I mention my lazy self. “You make me feel like I don’t do anything.” But I know they don’t know the me that sits in front of the TV, or ponders stupid things like when I lived in Cement City, otherwise known as Los Angeles, and I couldn’t figure out the valet and where they park the cars. Did you ever see where they take your car when you give over the keys?!? Exactly. Anyway, I’m stalling here. I ponder and am a wealth of irrelevent questions and information.
In computer terminology, lazy evaluation is the technique of delaying a computation until the result is required. So in my world I’m a self-diagnosed lazy evaluator. I will delay a decision or action until the result is required. I will not write my blog much before the deadline so it gets fed to you amazingly discerning readers who follow it. I did not decide on which apartment to rent in LA until the day before heading back to NY to get my packing done because I didn’t need to decide before then. It’s not lazy; it’s result oriented.
Ok, that works for the actions I actually take; however what about the ones that I haven’t taken? What about the inspiration that does not come to me because I’m too lazy to go out and experience that which I have not experienced so it can inspire me? So, as usual, I make a plan. I will go to the beach here in Maine, which I rarely visit, (Ok, with the exception of my cousin’s property, in the three years I’ve been here, I gone to the beach once), and walk and walk in an non-lazy-like manner and inspiration will come to me. I will be the happy person that exudes delight in what is yet to come like my new hero (sorry Obama), David Hockney.
So, I head to the beach over Memorial Day weekend where I start walking. There are tons of people there; I have to walk around them and not just wander so the inspiration can find me. Not only that, but I forgot my sunglasses and sunscreen (sunscreen in May should be outlawed). I’m hot and getting an uninspired headache as I have to concentrate hard to not step on some unsuspecting person sitting on the beach not realizing they are sucking up my inspiration space. Surely inspiration can’t find me because I’m weaving around the beach like my dog Bay does when she’s following a scent.
I give up. That’s an hour I’ll never get back again.
I head for home. I look at the things in the house that I promised to do over the weekend, and I know in my heart of hearts that doing them will not inspire me toward my best self one bit. And not doing them is surely the definition of lazy as the verb Hockney meant it to be. Needless to say, once again, I’m a failure with the best of intentions. I still like Hockney’s philosophy (more than his work actually), and I recognize that he’s on to something, but the truth is, I will not benefit from it on this day, this weekend, or this month. I think we can all agree it’s time to move on.
Thank God Van Gogh isn’t on YouTube. Can you imagine what my ears would have to go through?