In empty or ugly hours: G.K. Chesterton on minimalism and gratitude

"Robinson Crusoe...owes its eternal vivacity to the fact that it celebrates the poetry of limits, nay, even the wild romance of prudence. Crusoe is a man on a small rock with a few comforts just snatched from the sea: the best thing in the book is simply the list of things saved from the wreck. The greatest of poems is an inventory. Every kitchen tool becomes ideal because Crusoe might have dropped it in the sea. It is a good exercise, in empty or ugly hours of the day, to look at anything, the coal-scuttle or the bookcase, and think how happy one could be to have brought it out of the sinking ship on to the solitary island."

- G.K. Chesterton
in Orthodoxy

I was reading this in bed last night, and as I read this passage, I did just that—looked at my pillow and imagined how it would feel to have that pillow with me if I were stranded on a desert island. I could have hugged it—my soul positively swelled with love.


leonie 12/27/2010 12:14 AM  

what a wonderful thing to stop and consider.

Milli 12/27/2010 9:31 AM  

i love those moments too.

Jenica 12/27/2010 4:48 PM  

A beautiful exercise in gratitude.

Holly 12/27/2010 10:50 PM  

Leonie, Milli, Jenica - Yes, I think it is a perfect cure for possession-related malcontent.

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