"I've been letting my mind wonder at night. My thoughts should have a curfew." Am Kidd

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Acedia

a.ce.di.a = spiritual torpor and apathy

For the past four years I have had the privilege to stay home. For some, this decision has been a source of amazement: "What do you do all day? Don't you get bored? Aren't you lonely?" The truth is, I am never bored and I am never lonely.

There is so much to feel, so much to think about, so much to enjoy! A poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox comes to mind, it's called "Coleur de Rose" and it goes like this:

I want more lives in which to love
This world so full of beauty,
I want more days to use the ways
I know of doing duty;
I ask no greater joy than this
(So much I am life's lover,)
When I reach age to turn the page
And read the story over.

I must say that during the first days of my freedom I'd get up in a frenzy. I had to keep busy, I had to do tangible things, like cleaning, organizing, shopping, paying bills, anything! I felt guilty if I stopped moving and I found staying home quite tiring, then slowly, I regained control. I began to realize it was okay to stop between chores and enjoy a cup of coffee, it was okay to go for a walk instead of cleaning. I had to get used to have time on my hands, to be my own boss. It was unsettling to ponder, to look deep into myself, to question things, to come to conclusions, and to realize the answers had been there all along, I just had not been able to see them.

It took a long time to let go of my emotional burdens and the extra luggage I had carried for years, then the grip that had held me down lost it's strength. This change was possible only when I got off the "mad train", when I stopped the constant race against the clock, when there was silence around and Peace stood behind each door.  Every day a layer was shed and I felt lighter, hopeful, composed. I also found there could be a lot of noise within silence. My inner voice sounded strange and loud, I had not heard it since I was a child and was startled by it's presence. I began to appreciate the pleasures and the power of silence.

Some time ago I came across a very interesting website called Thinking Faith and found an article that briefly explains how our society is suffering from a severe case of Acedia. I could not agree more. I also think the remedy is inside each one of us.  The secret is to stop and listen to the inner voice that hides within the silence. The voice that is drowned by stress, duties, chores, and life in general.

These days, when someone calls me and asks "What are you doing?" I am no longer ashamed to say, "Nothing much." I don't feel guilty to want to sit, think, dream. I am no longer afraid to stop whatever I'm doing and find a little time to smell the roses.

Photo by Bing Images

17 comments:

  1. Qué bien te comprendo! Durante mucho tiempo también mi trabajo lo he hecho desde casa y me pasa idem que a tí, no sólo no me aburro , sino que me falta tiempo. Tanto en las etapas en las que he tenido trabajo ( ilustrando) o las que han sido "de parón", siempre me falta tiempo. Soy increíblemente inquieta y siempre ando leyendo o estudiando algo; por si acaso. Y mira tú que ese "por si acaso" dió fruto, y ahora voy a abrir mi propio negocio, fuera de casa.

    Pero sí, sea como fuere, incluso haciendo vida contemplativa, o escuchando -como dices- tu voz interior, se puede disfrutar de los mejores momentos de la vida.

    La verdad, yo no comprendo cómo hay gente que dice que se aburre. Me es sencillamente inexplicable. Quizás nuestro perpetuo entretenimiento se deba a que somos mentes creativas? Sin duda eso ayuda, no en vano siempre andamos tramando alguna cosita.

    Un besote grande, gipsy hermosa

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  2. This really resonated with me. I think you have summed up perfectly the almost panicky feeling of having the day(s) stretch before you and the need to fill them. I used to feel almost caged to be at home all day. Now, I simply love it.
    It takes a long time to learn to just "be".

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  3. Veo ese retrato y me contagio de un sentiemiento maravillado ante el placer de poder oler una rosa antique, acariciando sus pétalos, sin dañarla...hay tanta sensibilidad aquí, pero no entiendo el inglés y creo que cuentas cosas maravillosas. Te quiero pedir que si es posible añadas un traductor a tu blog...¿lo harias?, para mi será un regalo,

    un abrazo L.

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  4. Hola Femme! Tienes razon, es que somos de mentes inquietas y creativas, no alcanzan los dias, que bien lo has dicho! Estoy pendiente de tus exitos en tu nueva aventura. Suerte y un besote xo

    Kath, so glad to hear you have found the "key" and do not suffer from Acedia :0) Have a wonderful day!

    Lourdes, he estado varias veces por agregar el traductor y siempre se me olvida, perdona. Lo acabo de poner. Un abrazo (visite tu Abril Encantado y "Solo pienso en ti" me ha llenado de recuerdos!)

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  5. Gracias Alina, muchas gracias...ahora estaré mas cerca de tus sentimientos, de ti...hoy es el primer día, despues de meses, que siento que mi salud se va a recuperar y podré salir de mi casa donde paso mucho tiempo intentando disfrutar, aunque mi situación es diferente...recuerdo los dias del pasado en los que no paraba de hacer cosas y disfrutaba de la vida...sólo se necesita salud para disfrutar de lo que se tiene...ser tu jefe es un lujo...disfrutemos sea como sea es lo mas importante, un abrazo, L.

    ...

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  6. This post has resonated with me too! I appreciate the edge of being out and doing but I was always overreaching myself. Now, I know that I need more down time in between going out. I need it to preserve my physical energy but, also, so that I can be someone worth meeting when I go out! (if you know what I mean = ] ) That article was VERY insightful! These words are encouraging and refreshing to me! Thank you!

    Love, Katy

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  7. What a beautiful place and a lovely sentiment indeed. I feel very much like you, I enjoy being at home and I wish I could spend much more time there.
    I found you through Jeanne at Cottage Garden and I truly enjoyed my visit.
    Have a lovely day at home,
    xo
    Zuzana

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  8. Hi Alina ..beautiful post! It is a joy to find the spirit-within..and connect there..and simply BE.

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  9. Completely agree. I've been there and experienced that. You're so right Alina.

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  10. the portrait it's awesome, i'm glad for sharing with us *.*

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  11. Thank you. I've stayed home too and you express so well how much it means to me.

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  12. Lourdes, gracias a ti por tus palabras, tus visitas, y por ser simplemente tu. Una oracion por tu salud y un abrazo.

    Katy, I know exactly what you mean. I just visited your beautiful place and loved your last post. Glad to hear you are enjoying a bit of peace after your exciting, but busy tea party. I loved all the photos especially the one where the light filtered through your window. Lovely and peaceful. Enjoy! xx

    Hello Zuzana, welcome! Thank you for your visit. It's great to share similar thoughts :0) See you soon! xx

    Kiki, as always, so nice to have you here! I'm eagerly awaiting your next post full of awesome photos and inspiration. Hugs

    TGR, I've missed you! Just visited your blog and read about your "failed inspection" did not have a chance to leave a comment, but I'll be back soon. Hope your wheel worries are over by now :0)

    JR, Sheila, thank you!

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  13. Morning Alina! I felt exactly the same way as you did for months after I stopped working. My days are still very full, and busy, but I no longer feel like I should be "working"! Have a wonderful day Sweetie! xo's Paulette

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  14. Wonderful post Alina. I am never bored staying at home all day either. There is always so much to do and to think about. Doing 'nothing much' is OK! :)

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  15. Hello Paulette, Hello Catherine, I'm so glad to hear you also got a "grip" and are enjoying your homes. Happy Spring! xx

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  16. Alina: I needed this today. Thank you!

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  17. Glad to help :0) Happy Spring Nan! xx

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Albert Schweitzer said "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit" I thank you all!