June 17, 2011

This & That

Interesting article on the incredible shrinking American vacation. I'm so European when it comes to vacation that I'm afraid of being labeled a socialist:
Performance increases after a vacation, with reaction times going up 40 percent. Vacations cure burnout, the last stage of chronic stress and something very difficult to shake. Burned-out employees are a major liability to effective performance. They may be at the office physically, but output is next to nothing when cognitive, physical and emotional resources have been depleted. Vacations regather crashed resources and restore productive capacity. But it takes two weeks for the recuperative process to occur. Only 14 percent of Americans take more than one week of vacation at a time these days, according to a Harris poll..
I've never once taken a two-week vacation in all these years, thinking the better idea is to spread them out. The longer break seems somehow more suited to the human person somehow, although if I had to work the other eleven months with only a week off I'd likely feel differently.

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Read some of Donald Hall's poetry memoir. Liked it. How strong is his sense of place! I wonder how far my sense of place extends. Is the U.S. or the Midwest or Ohio too vast? Is a city more in keeping, or is even a city too big? If a place changes, as my original hometown has, can it still be considered "yours"? Or do we have no earthly city and so it's not really germane?

I would like to write a story detailing a micro-space, that tiny enclosed spot under the staircase of my parent's former house. Wouldn't it be something if the new owners put the house up for sale and they had an open house and I could sneak into that space if the realtor wasn't looking and reenact a small fragment of my childhood, the place I wrote my first poems (to the extent they could be so dignified)?

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"Who has cupped his hand the waters of the sea and marked off the heaven's with a span?"

Today's prayers that really struck home was a simple line from the gospel that we must forgive others' transgressions so that God will forgive ours. Oh so familiar and yet I recalled I held something against my wife and I realized I needed to forgive her and I felt the healing balm of obedience to Christ.

Then too I appreciated the lines: "The Lord has chosen Sion as his dwelling place," and I thought about how great we can substitute "us" for "Sion" now and how beautiful it is that Christ actually desires to live with us and does so uncomplainingly. It occurred to me that it's not true that Jesus doesn't show his love in a supernatural way - what is the Eucharist if not a supernatural demonstration of his willingness to be close to us?

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