The Reckoning Labour Day

My friend Fr. Austin at A Concord Pastor Comments tells me that USA Labour Day celebrations are on Monday but as we idlers don't have this in the UK  I thought I would share the day with my friends across the pond with a couple of reflections on work  

This first one below is from inward/outward in my mailbox

It's Time to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson  who suggests  that  "Perhaps Labour Day weekend is a good time to become more committed to "idling."

The idea that idleness is good goes against everything we have ever been taught. Industry, hard work, duty, self-sacrifice, toil: surely these are the virtues that will lead to success in life?
Well, no.
In the West, we have become addicted to work. Americans now work the longest hours in the world. And the result is not health, wealth and wisdom, but rather a lot of anxiety, a lot of ill health and a lot of debt.
Not only is idleness good, but it is essential for a pleasurable life. Where do our ideas come from? When do we dream? When are we happy? It is not when staring at a computer terminal worrying about what our boss will say about our work. It is in our leisure time, our own time, when we are doing what we want to do.
These are the truths that the great loafing poet Walt Whitman knew. Instead of working, he preferred to wander and observe. These wanderings gave us Leaves of Grass.
Mark Twain never liked work much. He preferred fun.
And Thoreau turned his back on the busy rushing of the commercial world to seek freedom in the woods.
Its' time to say no to jobs and yes to fun, freedom and pleasure. It's time to be idle.

Tom Hodgkinson founded the journal, The Idler, in 1993. This piece is from the Preface to his 2005 book, How To Be Idle.

The second is a poem I like

The Reckoning

All profits disappear: the gain
Of ease, the hoarded, secret sum;
And now grim digits of old pain
Return to litter up our home.

We hunt the cause of ruin, add,
Subtract, and put ourselves in pawn;
For all our scratching on the pad,
We cannot trace the error down.

What we are seeking is a fare
One way, a chance to be secure:
The lack that keeps us what we are,
The penny that usurps the poor. 

Theodore Roethke
(May 25, 1908 - August 1, 1963)

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