The Perusal of Repetition

One of the first symptoms of both acedia and depression is the inability to address the body's basic daily needs. It is also a refusal of repetition. Showering, shampooing, brushing the teeth, taking a multi-vitamin, going for a daily walk, as unremarkable as they seem, are acts of self-respect. They enhance the ability to take pleasure in oneself, and in the world...Esther's desire to "do everything once and for all and be through with it" has all the distorted reasoning of insanity. It is a call to suicide.
- Kathleen Norris, Acedia & Me

Well, Linus sat in that sincere pumpkin patch, again, and waited for the Great Pumpkin to bring toys to good little girls and boys. His eyes bugged, again, as he exclaimed to Sally that the rustling sound was the rising of the Great Pumpkin. It was Snoopy, again. Oh, and Lucy moved the football and all Charlie Brown got in his sack was rocks, again.

I tucked three children into bed and they untucked themselves three times after that, again. I fed the Beta fish, Stella, with three little pellets of life, again. Not long after, I spent twenty minutes in my target zone, again, followed by a few push-ups, just to make the upper body all firm and such. A quick shower followed after which I took my sweaty-target-zone clothes downstairs to the laundry basket, again.

I kissed her and she said I love you, again. I love you back.

The Beagle awoke at 11:47pm, crying to go outside, again. I got up and let him out and he attended to business and quickly came back inside and went straightway to his pen and went to sleep, again.

The old man awoke at 3:45am, interiorly crying to go to the bathroom, again. I got up and let myself out, well, in, and attended to business. I went back to my pen, well, bed, and just lay there for about fifteen minutes, again.

A little after 4:30am, I read the daily psalms from The Book of Common Prayer, again. I'd swear I read the same ones last month on the 29th. Oh well. The coffee maker clicked on at 4:45am, again. When the coffee maker, Gev, finished, I poured a cup in the pottery mug, again, that she bought me a few Christmases ago. A level spoonful of brown sugar and an intentional stir with a plastic spoon, again, so as to not wake her and the tucked-in kids and the relieved Beagle.

About 6:30am, I'll put on wool socks and my boots, again. The strength of my life, my firstborn, and I will leave at 7:10am and drive to his middle school, again. Just before leaving, I'll kiss her and say I love you, again. I love you back.

I'll drive my old beater to work, again, and do what needs to be done, again. And I'll be anxious all day to get back home, to these repetitions, as unremarkable as they may seem, for they are acts of self-respect, enhancing my ability to take pleasure in myself, and in this world, yet once again.

Oh, I will put on additional clothing besides my wool socks and boots. If I were to leave for work wearing only those, well, my, my, that would tie quite a kink in the rope of unremarkable repetition.


  1. What wonderful repetitiousness!!!

  2. Don't forget to put on that morning scowl to keep the weak ones at bay!

  3. Just think! In about 6 weeks, we can lurve Linus all over again. That's some good repetition in my book.

    As usual (repeat) the simplicity and heart (repeat) in this post= beautiful.