Thursday, December 17, 2009

Acedia and Me

I picked up Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris at the library yesterday. I've seen it at various places around the web and decided to check it out.

Chapter 1 is basically a history and definition of the word.
" the risk of oversimplifying, I would suggest that while depression is an illness treatable by counseling and medication, acedia is a vice that is best countered by spiritual practice and the discipline of prayer."

Chapter 2 gives a brief introduction to the author's early life citing times she struggled with acedia. I can totally relate to her experiences. Times of falling into reveries where
"the future seemed oppressive, even monstrous."
She muses of times when she wondered if life was a sham, without purpose. Norris says that the emphasis in high school of getting into college taught her indirectly to value the future over the present moment.

Why do those monotonous, repetitive actions like making the bed, showering, going for a daily walk? Who cares? I admit I have fallen into such thoughts at times. She goes on describe the downward spiral that occurs at these junctures and her seeming inability to climb back out. Been there done that :)

I am interested to find out what else Norris has to say.

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