Sunday, September 02, 2007

For Labor Day: The Joy of Work

Woman Singing
Edgar Degas

Give us, oh, give us, the man who sings at his work! He will do more in the same time,--he will do it better,--he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches to music. The very stars are said to make harmony as they revolve in their spheres. Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, altogether past calculation in its powers of endurance. Efforts, to be permanently useful, must be uniformly joyous, a spirit all sunshine, graceful from very gladness, beautiful because bright. ~Carlyle


Anonymous said...

So true!!! Thanks for this uplifting and concordant perspective!!!

Michelle said...

Yes! This reminds me of what Soloman says in Ecclesiastes 3:12-22 about enjoying our labor as a gift from God as our lot in life.

ichthys said...

The painting reminded me of an Ekphrasis lanterne I wrote a year or so ago entitled 'MONOTONY'
to dusk-
working class
drudgery of

Sadly still as much a fact of life in many areas of our world as when Degas painted his Laundresses.When I trained as an accountant in the '50's we called such work character your scripture reveals.

Anonymous said...

Merrily sang the birds, and the tender voices of women
Consecrated with hymns the common cares of the household.

from Longfellow's "The Courtship of Miles Standish"

One of my favorite lines of poetry, I appreciate the thought of finding joy in the midst of "drudgery" and making that work holy unto the Lord by my response of song.