June 28, 2010

the rust of the whole week

Monday, again.

No, wait - it's not Monday again...this is an entirely different Monday. Days don't repeat themselves, time doesn't go in a circle. Every day is new, and only comes once. That little insight is worth remembering. 

I spent the weekend pretty much exactly as planned. Saturday was all about cleaning and errands, and then Sunday was all about doing the fun stuff. I'm easily amused, so cleaning out my makeup drawer and giving myself a mani/pedi ranked right up there on the highlights of the day. 

I also spent a sizeable portion of the day flipping through some of my decorating books. These images are all from BH&G's  New Cottage Style

They're not all the same house, but they could be. And I could live there.

Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week.  
~Joseph Addison

(But only if you let it. ~Me)

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June 26, 2010

what kind of people

It's been one hell of a week, and I'm exhausted! What a perfect time to launch my day of rest plans.

I've decided to take Sunday "off," from the time I wake up straight through to bedtime. If I tried to be off from sunset Saturday to sunset Sunday, I'd end up running around in a frenzy those last few hours of the evening, catching up on all the things I didn't accomplish in advance. I know I would do this because it's exactly what I do now, and it's exactly what I'm hoping to avoid.

This means Saturday is going to be a busy day. Laundry, housekeeping, car-cleaning. (I've made a list but it's in the other room. There's more on it than just that. Really. A whole day's worth. At least.)

And the next day? Sunday? The list is shorter, but I don't think I'll forget what I mean to do:
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In our leisure we reveal what kind of people we are. ~ Ovid 

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June 22, 2010

a bountiful crop

Today I mentioned the idea of a "day of rest" to a coworker, and she said she and her husband had just discussed the same thing at the end of yet another crazily busy, over-packed Sunday. She's got a toddler and a 3 month old, so our particular circumstances are very different, but the result is the same: we never really stop - even for a while - and we need to. I intend to make it happen for me.

To be successful (a funny way to describe leisure, but accurate, really) I'll have to plan ahead...

    • What will I do (and not do) with my leisure time?
    • What do I hope to get out of it? 
    • What chores and activities will I need to do in advance so that I can really take a day "off"? 

I googled how to rest and got 187,000,000 results (in 0.27 seconds). One of the sites I found was The Sabbath Manifesto. From the website:

Way back when, God said, “On the seventh day thou shalt rest.”  The meaning behind it was simple: Take a break. Call a timeout. Find some balance. Recharge.
Somewhere along the line, however, this mantra for living faded from modern consciousness. The idea of unplugging every seventh day now feels tragically close to impossible. Who has time to take time off? We need eight days a week to get tasks accomplished, not six.
The Sabbath Manifesto was developed...by a small group of artists, writers, filmmakers and media professionals who, while not particularly religious, felt a collective need to fight back against our increasingly fast-paced way of living. The idea is to take time off, deadlines and paperwork be damned.
In the Manifesto, we’ve adapted our ancestors’ rituals by carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, get with loved ones and, if we’re lucky, get some booty, too. The ten principles are to be observed one day per week, from sunset to sunset. We invite you to practice, challenge and/or help shape what we’re creating.
The Ten Principles
 1. Avoid Technology
 2. Connect With Loved Ones
 3. Nurture Your Health
 4. Get Outside
 5. Avoid Commerce
 6. Light Candles
 7. Drink Wine
 8. Eat Bread
 9. Find Silence
10. Give Back

I won't follow this blueprint exactly, but it's a good place to start...

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"Take a rest, a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." – Ovid

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June 20, 2010

dream in peace

Sunday afternoon. Here on Moss Hill it's much too hot to be outdoors, but indoors it's another world entirely.

Calm and peaceful, the dreamy, languid atmosphere is perfect for drinking tea and flipping idly through a stack of magazines, napping on the couch with the dogs,  or watching an old black and white movie on cable. As soon as I hit the publish button on this post, though, there are several hours of work to be done, things I need to finish before the workweek starts tomorrow. 

Recently I heard on NPR a woman speaking about the importance of observing the Sabbath. Her research focused on the historical religious perspective, but her message centered on the spiritually healing qualities of rest, and the need for real rest in today's particularly rest-less world.

"For one day a week, you let the world be as it is," she says.
 "And you be in it, and try not to dominate it."

Although I couldn't be less religious, I am drawn to the idea of planned rest, of setting aside a day each week to "let the world be." It would take some advance preparation to make such a day possible, but I imagine the results would be worth it. Maybe I'll try it in this coming week...

What about you? Do you have a day each week reserved for rest, renewal, physical and spiritual edification? If not, do you think you would try it, at least once?

Oh - and about these photos below? Very restful, don't you think? 

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: 
the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, 
the house allows one to dream in peace.  ~ Gaston Bachelard

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June 18, 2010

jeweled balm for the battered spirit

It was cooler today, the sky sweet blue and clear. 
I've forgiven the South its muggy tendencies, for now. 

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Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, 
and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  
A few of those days and you can become drunk 
with the belief that all's right with the world.  
~Ada Louise Huxtable

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June 14, 2010

beautifully blue

At 6:00 pm, the heat index is 101 degrees. I hate it...HATE...IT!

I might survive, thanks to air conditioning set to "arctic," an ice cold beer, and a pool full of water just steps away out the back door. 

Looking at the color blue is said to lower pulse rate and body temperature. 
These beautiful images certainly evoke a cool mood, don't they?

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Oh! `darkly, deeply, beautifully blue’ 
 As someone somewhere sings about the sky.
 –Lord Byron

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June 11, 2010

the lovely grass

These beautiful wild gardens are what I envision for Moss Hill. No proper rows, all laid out in neat, straight lines. No vast lawns, flat and unadorned.  For me, let there be undulating curves,  wild tangles of blackberries and roses, and casually mown paths leading from one lovely place to another.

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we flung us on a windy hill, 
Laughed in the sun, 
and kissed the lovely grass.
~Rupert Brooke

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