John William Godward, 1861 - 1922
[one of several "Dolce Far Niente" paintings by Godward
My friend Nikki recently taught me a new phrase to describe these mellow late fall days when we're inclined to hunker down in the kitchen, whiling away the autumnal hours under a pile of inconsequential projects: a little reading, a little writing, a lot of dabbling. How did I not know before now (especially since I'm so good at it) that the proper name for this kind of time - wasting is dolce far niente: the sweetness of doing nothing, pleasant relaxation in carefree idleness, or, as Nikki puts it, "indentured servitude to the goddess."
I admit that often when I say "I'm working from home today," I am, in reality, doing nothing from home all day! Still, I like to refer to it as "working" because, after all, I am always making connections:
Similar proverb: "How beautiful it is to do nothing and then to rest afterward."
Mark Twain: "Work consists of doing what a body is obliged to do; play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do."
And of course dear Anne Lamott: "puttering . . . my main spiritual practice."
George Roux, 1853 - 1929
Thanks to Sir Igor for sharing this scary painting!