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Monday, June 18, 2007

Early summer thoughts

At what point in life does time suddenly go into hyper drive? For my three and four year old, days seem never ending, weeks eternal, their last birthday is a distant memory their next birthday is a lie, a carrot I dangle in front of their nose whenever they ask for a new toy: "Just put it on your birthday list. " They think I mean never. For me, I have to stop and think every time someone asks my age, mentally I'm still fresh out of college, physically...well, I've started purchasing Oil of Olay.
For my children, summer is just starting, they have so much to look forward to. I've manged to fill practically (read: overschedule) every weekend through August and there's still tons of people and places we won't get to see. The older I get the faster the years go because I'm living life on the weekends. People waste five days a week at work and try to do what matters in two. I think 'weekend living' intensifies in the summer. Why doesn't somebody plan something to help me through those long, dark, cold January weekends?
I've been less motivated to blog since my passions haven't been aroused with any current events lately, or maybe, I'm just too distracted to notice much these days. Sometimes, I think I have nothing left to say but then I'm struck with an idea I forget to write down. Eventually, these brilliant insights might make it into cyber space but until they do, please excuse any gaps in posting. Until time slows down, my children find endless ways to amuse themselves and social events and far flung travels are spread neatly during the week and through out the year I leave you with something from someone who always has something to say.

"Children, too, need to be taught a mysticism of labor. Peter Maurin used to call it a philosophy of work. Fr. Jimmy Tompkins used to say that all work should be considered in the light of the works of mercy. Is our work that we are preparing to do in life helping to feed, clothe, shelter people? Are children being taught a reverence for the soil, out of which all things come, since we are but dust? The table we work at, the food we eat, the bed we lie on, the covers on it, all come from the soil. To dig, to sow and reap, to build and construct,--all children love to do these things at first. But in school literacy takes first place and reading is no longer taught, beginning with the Little Office, Our Lady's Primer.

I remember one of my young nieces coming home from school with a project book she was making. Her task was to furnish a home, to cut out all the things one would need in that home, and she pored over magazines, and cut out linoleum, furniture, kitchen sets, parlor sets, gadgets, and had a lovely time doing it. And all the while standards were being set up in her mind desires were being stimulated to buy what the advertisers present and to get the job, to get the money, to buy what the advertisers present. [snip]

Are our children being taught not only to work for what they need, not what they want, and also to work for others, so that they will always have a surplus to give away? Are they taught to tithe themselves to give even one-tenth of what they are going to earn, to the poor?"

"Education and Work"
By Dorothy Day
The Catholic Worker, September 1953, 2,6.