It seems like everyone I know is searching for a way to make sense of how we live within our days. Remember Ben Franklin? The 8 hour day? We’re all looking to balance work and life and love and living and adventure, to find time to do good honest labor without sacrificing life for livelihood. I think that’s why I love this sort of schedule making, list keeping, trying to order genius and justify humanity. I also love how this particular list from Henry Miller is a bit contradictory (go drink if you feel like it/write first and always, write with pleasure only/work according to program and not according to mood). The contradictions sort of get down to the basics of the thing: do the best that you can with what you have. And if only: Work calmly, joyously, recklessly at what is at hand.
And now, off to work.
from The (divine) Littlest.
I found this image back on May Day, and I love it. Technically this is a propaganda poster lobbying for the 8-hour work day (notice the little picketer in his socialist hat and that the people are spending their 8 free hours rowing around a lily pond reading “The Union Advocate”), and, certainly, the fight for workers humanity that the 8 hour day symbolizes is a powerful part of social history. I think, though, that I might like this well outside of that? Maybe it’s the Diego Rivera-meets-Fillmore Poster woodcut style, or maybe just it’s how simple and good the concept seems. It reminds me of a bit Benjamin Franklin’s schedule– an antiquated notion of how to structure and spend one’s day (with purpose, function, and beauty) that maybe we’d all benefit from truly adapting. Slow down, simplify, work hard. The benefit of honest toil and the sweetness of “What We Will”.
ps. if anyone has any info on the source of this awesome picture, let me know.
Meags sent me this today. The creator of this highly desirable daily schedule– with his ingenious bifocals, discovering of electricity, master raconteur status, bitchin waistcoat collection, impetus for America’s first library, and fondness for the French– is, of course, ole Benjamin Franklin. Who wouldn’t want to devote four hours a day to putting things in their places, music, and supper?
While this routine really seams imminently do-able, does it also simultaneously seem to anyone else to be totally impossible??
I’ll start with baby steps of contemplating goodness at the beginning and end of each day. If I may not be healthy, wealthy, and wise- at least may I be conscientiously moving through the world with goodness and light in mind. Not too bad.