Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ABC Wednesday

The letter is I

The word is Idleness

The internet abounds with quotations of famous people who deride the very idea of Idleness, presenting it as the work of the Devil and a sure road to Hell on a Handcart.
 
I quote excerpts from Isaac Watts "Against Idleness and Mischief"
 
"How doth the little busy Bee improve each shining Hour and gather Honey all the day from every opening flower!
....................
 
In Works of Labour or of Skill I would be busy too: For Satan finds some Mischief still
for idle hands to do."

But I, thinking of the pleasure and values of meditation, and delightful hours spent in the shade of a rustling tree reading a good book; of an empty mind, open to receive inspiration, I was on the
lookout for words of Praise for Idleness.
 

 
 
Here is what I found from Sir John Lubbock
 
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes
on the grass, under the trees, on a summer's day
listening to the murmur of water
or watching the clouds float across the sky
is by no means a waste of time"
 
And Robert Louis Stevenson, as well, came to the defense of Idleness
 
"Extreme busyness is a symptom of deficient vitality,
and a faculty for idleness implies an appetite
and a strong sense of personal identity"
 
Virginia Woolf supports my theory that the empty mind  is fertile ground
for whatever grand ideas may be floating around, ethereally
 
"It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top".
 
and from more ancient times....
 
"Besides the noble art of getting things done there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials".
 
Lin Yutang, with a suggestion of Occam's Razor
 
For more I Interpretations visit here, at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Denise, Roger and all non-idle helpers.....

18 comments:

Rajesh said...

Idleness is state of mind.

Leslie: said...

I love those quotes. I actually relish times of idleness and think more people should embrace it thoughtfully.

Leslie
abcw team

Norma Ruttan said...

I agree with the idea of idleness can lead to many positive outcomes. Learning "to be still" and know that God will speak to me in the silence is a virtue I have yet to master.

photowannabe said...

Idleness really isn't idle when the mind, body and soul are being refreshed.
Wonderful quotes.

Kay L. Davies said...

What an excellent "idea" for the letter I, Hildred. It's true that the mind needs refreshment and rest, just as the body does, and there is plenty of evidence for your point of view here!
Thanks!
K

Richard Lawry said...

I don't get many idle moments but I relish them
An Arkie's Musings

Roger Owen Green said...

Idleness is highly underrated.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Carver said...

Great post. I love the photograph of the child and the quotes in defense of idleness. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

Pheno Menon said...

Idleness is sometimes necessary.

PhenoMenon, ABCW Team

uberrhund said...

Wonderful post!Well spent Idleness can be the workshop of the soul, letting the mind and body rest at once in order to refill with new ideas and ideals.

Joy said...

Nothing like idleness as you wonderfully evoke on a summer's day. I remember Bertrand Russell Russell wrote a philosophical essay in praise of idleness and then there is that jaunty song "busy doing nothing".

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting that you found quotes to support idleness - actuallky I think we all need them Hildred - such times allow us to collect and organise our thoughts and to enjoy just looking.

Hazel Ceej said...

Love the quotes. Being idle to recharge one's batteries is necessary. At least I do it.

Ann said...

When I'm being idle sometimes I'm just thinking about how lucky I am.
Ann

Jesh St Germain said...

My hands may be idle, but my mind is hardly ever:) Great photos!

ChrisJ said...

Sometimes Idleness leads to renewal.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

This was such fun. Thanks for sharing all the quotes (and for doing the research)..your post gave me so much to think about. My grandmother loved those old moralistic poems and often quoted the one about the busy bee; when I was quite small I read the take-off of it in Alice in Wonderland (about the crocodile improving each shining hour by welcoming in the little fishes)...and at 10 or so I learned to recognize satire!

A more recent thought about idleness: A few days ago my blog-pal Hazel showed a picture of a canal boat in England with this posted on the side "Time is precious. Waste it Wisely." I liked that.

Hildred said...

I like that too, Sallie - room for thought!