December 5
Each day, and the living of it,
has to be a conscious creation in
which discipline and order are
relieved with some play
and pure foolishness.

May Sarton


Today's Meditation:

It happens so often that we see people who go too far in one direction or the other here.  I know many people who feel that life is work and discipline and seriousness and who never have a bit of fun.  I know other people who think that fun and foolishness are all there is, and who really aren't able to contribute in a positive way to this world of ours.  But what May is saying rings true--we have to be conscious of the lives that we're forging, and balance our discipline and hard work with plenty of play and silliness so that we don't end up taking ourselves too seriously.

If we don't do this, then our lives simply can't be creative efforts.  We simply cannot live each day fully if we never balance out what we do, for we'll get so caught up in one side or the other that what we're trying to create will obviously end up warped.

Today I need to get my work done, and I need to take it seriously enough so that my students actually learn something in my classes.  But if I make it too serious, I'm not going to have my mind open to other ideas and opinions and thoughts, and I'm going to be so focused on the results of my efforts that the journey to the end is going to be harsh and difficult and unimaginative.  In order to avoid this, I have to be sure to be open to moments of levity and enjoyment--sometimes when the class clown speaks up, it's better to play along with him or her than to try to keep that person quiet.

"A conscious creation."  What an amazing responsibility that is!  And what an incredible opportunity!  My today shall be what I make it, and I hope that I can keep it in a very healthy balance.

Questions to consider:

Why do we so often see moments of play and foolishness as negative things?

What kinds of foolish things can you do to actually make your day more bearable and more productive?

What do you think that May means when she says that each day is a "conscious creation"? 

For further thought:

The creation of something new is not accomplished by
the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner
necessity.  The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

Carl Jung

More on play.


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