Monday Musings, Random DJB Thoughts
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How We Spend Our Lives

Writer's Block

Writer’s Block (photo credit: Center for Documentary Studies)

In her 1989 collection of essays entitled The Writing Life, Annie Dillard has a wonderful meditation on the life well lived.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.”

 Dillard’s essay contrasts different daily schedules and the “existential tension between presence and productivity.”  She then adds these words to prod us to think of how we spend our days – and lives:

“There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life.”

Here’s to having a good week lived in a way that produces a well-lived life.

More to come…

DJB

This entry was posted in: Monday Musings, Random DJB Thoughts

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I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Writing, Briefly. Writing Well. | More to Come...

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