Thursday, August 5, 2010

Unbearable Ugliness

Unbearable mental fatigue.  Work alone could rest me, gratuitous work, or play....I am far from that.  Each thought becomes an anxiety in my brain; I am becoming that ugliest of all things:  a busy man.   --  Andre Gide, Journals.
What I have noticed is that I become "busy" the moment I forget the center of everything.   Having a lot to do is not in itself ugly -- it becomes ugly when it's overdone -- heaping distorting, crushing burdens upon oneself.   The state of being a "busy man" is a pathetic one.

It seems to me that when Gide is talking about play or "gratuitous work" he is talking essentially about leisure, schola, which seems to me similar to the modern idea of "flow" defined as  "a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity...single-minded immersion" -- which is perhaps one of the closest secular things possible to approaching the love of God.  

I can feel the danger -- of talking, thinking, doing, having, seeing or hearing too much.... Non multa sed multum seems to apply. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!