📺 Currently watching and enjoying LUPIN. French series about a man who is inspired by the stories of a gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin, a character created by Maurice Leblanc in the early 1900’s.

Note to self: Don’t be so concerned with having the right answers. Better to ask the right questions.

Sitting awkwardly at a birthday party watching hockey. I’ve either forgotten how to socialize or I have mastered it.

Getting a jump start this Saturday on a busy week ahead. Juggling 5 client projects, a friend’s 50th birthday party and a wedding. Oh, and I still have to teach this week too. 😁

📚 Currently reading: All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age

“Professionals are people who can do their best work when they don’t feel like it.” - Alistair Cooke

Yup, it’s that kind of Friday.

Going through March’s notes to create my next newsletter.

Cold but beautiful morning at the lake.

JACOBS DREAM by William Blake

Reposted from an old blog of mine. Still one of the most important books I’ve ever read.

Josef Pieper’s Leisure

Josef Pieper (1904-1997) was a German Catholic philosopher, who helped popularize Neo-Thomistic philosophy in the twentieth century. His writings are rooted in the works of Thomas Aquinas as well as Aristotle and Plato. Pieper sought to explain and defend the wisdom tradition of the West and his short and powerful Leisure, the Basis of Culture was one of his most notable works.

Pieper’s Definition of Leisure Pieper attempts to reintroduce the modern reader to the still important Platonic understanding of the value of philosophical work, and the sagacity of the Thomistic understanding of the relationship between philosophy and theology. He does this through two complimentary essays, Leisure and The Philosophical Work. Read together, these works explain that in order for man to reach his full potential, he needs to look beyond the world of servile, or useful, work and include philosophical work, or liberal arts, into his everyday life.

In 1952, when this book was first published the idea that one either lives to work, or works to live was teetering close to “work” being the point of existence. Nearly 60 years later, if we haven’t fallen off that precipice entirely, we are surely hanging on by our fingernails. What Pieper posits is that mankind is becoming a slave to the idea that only work that is hard, or servile in the social sense, is to be valued.

Leisure’s Importance in the 21st Century We, in the early twenty first century, are losing our ability to do true philosophical work that is more contemplative, or receptive, in nature. The worship of progress for progress’ sake, the praise of mindless know-how, and education as training, not knowledge-seeking, all point to our drift toward the slave society where we are all defined as our function towards the common society as a whole.

Western culture has an outlook of the world as total work; of work-for-work’s sake. We seem to have internalized the protestant work ethic to such an extent that we threaten to lose our souls, in both a cultural and personal sense. Pieper claims that while we all must live in the work-a-day world we also need space in our lives to contemplate the infinite.

The idea of leisure is the antidote to our work-for-work’s-sake lives. Since man is made for union with God, human work is not separate from this end. Today, the work of man is an end in itself. Pieper shows how this is a reorientation from the classical world view which viewed both useful work and philosophical work as vitally important to the full development of man.

According to Pieper the one way for man to regain the original western tradition begun by Plato and continued by the Medieval masters is to re-marry philosophy to theology. He believes that it is through religious sacrifice in its truest sense that we can realize the kind of philosophical work that is not readily useful in the work-a-day world, but that is eminently useful for our cultural and spiritual survival.

“Culture depends for its very existence on leisure, and leisure, in its turn, is not possible unless it has a durable and consequently living link with divine worship.”

I started my version of New Year’s goals early this year, learning chess and achieving a body weight clean and press. And so far so good. I’ve improved from beginer to intermediate on Chess.com- whatever that’s worth. All I know is I am better now than I was a month ago. And I am steadily adding weight. Looong way to go, but that’s what makes it a good year’s goal.

I’m so ready for 2020 to be over I am starting my 2021 New Year’s resolutions now.

Two goals- 1. Clean and press my weight for reps 2. Improve my chess game to the point where I am a really good recreational player.

November beach day. #NoFilter

Probably the last weekend I’ll get views like this on my Sunday morning hike.

Hope the views are spectacular wherever you’re spending your Sunday!

View out my dining room window. Strong Halloween vibes. 🎃

Library project is coming along nicely.

#fall #newengland

New installation on the local rail trail.

Beautiful Saturday morning for a run. An hour outside sweating cures all ills.

About to start one of our family’s regular October traditions: Sunday nights and Halloween Wars on Food Network.

Finished my first week of remote teaching. It went fine, but I am really looking forward to the weekend. No matter how well the first week goes after summer break it is always tiring. It’s like my body forgets what it’s like to operate of a schedule.

Saturday morning run in 49-degree, big blue sky weather. I guess it’s fall now.

“If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go.” ~ Lao Tzu

Sounds like a weekend rallying cry to me! And after the first week of teaching I’m ready for it.

Sitting in the Marlborough High School parking lot with 100 other parents while our kids tour the building. Weird nostalgia vibes. I didn’t go here but a lot of my friends did, so I spent plenty of my teen years around campus.

I just bought the entire Harvard Classics Library at 52 volumes plus the 20 volume fiction add on for about $20 and it all fits on my Kindle. We live in the future of my childhood, and I dig it.