Procrasti Country

Voice Card  -  Volume 32  -  Stuart Card Number 3  -  Sat, May 28, 1994 8:51 PM

This is a response to VC 31 Paul 1 ("Yikes!")...

Yes, John, I understand your need to crack the whip now and again, but I must say I find some merit in Paul's call to throw the time clocks out the windows.

On the sleepy island nation of Procrasti (procrastination, get it - yes, all groan at once), where the sunsets are beautiful and the water gently laps at the toes of the sleepy, dreamy Ponarvs gathered on the shore, elegant creative things are spawned - inventions, books, music, et al. but they are produced on different level of time (procrastime, if you will). Levels of time that do not fit so neatly into little blocks and nooks and crannies. The goal of a deadline is good enough for these gentle natured Ponarvs on the island of Procrasti.

Yes, yes, sometimes deadlines are good for the old creative juices. Focuses the mind and all that. But I adore the fact that you, Tio Juan, have spent years perfecting your star maze, or that Flaubert took years in writing Madame Bovary, a sentence a day by lingering, blissful sentence. The editor in you cries for the work NOW.

But I remember the John who couldn't bear to wake up before noon; the John who would lie on that long padded bench in the graduate student pig pen in Orson Spencer Hall (a bench that seemed to have no other purpose than to have you stretch out on it), your eyes closed in nappy contemplation; the John who would slowly meander the streets of Salt Lake City, runic staff in hand, looking up through the trees, or around and about you, always a bit late, always with some interesting tidbit that you had noticed or thought about that we had overlooked, forgot about, or never discovered.

And how disappointed we would be if Odysseus had made it home in two weeks instead of 22 years. Thank heaven Icabod Crane didn't have an alarm clock, that he slept 20 years instead of 20 minutes. Some journeys just take a little longer, that's all. How much better it is to be Alice than the rabbit, always rushing to get to his appointment (what was his blood pressure, anyway, I wonder). And isn't the crush of time, the anxiety to meet that damn 5:00 train, one of the things that turns Gregar Samsa into a giant bug?

No, no, gentle friends, I appeal to this Senate to allow the deadline to keep its whiff of elasticity. Infirmity sometimes has its virtues (In fact, I think I'll leave this computer screen right now, and go for a walk, enjoy the sunset on this late May night in Ohio). And please, don't wait up for me. I may not get for awhile. Or, better still, maybe I'll see you out there.