In the U.S., we call it vacation. But the root meaning is ‘to
vacate’, and I far prefer the term our friends overseas use for a time
off and away…..a holiday.
Leisure has had a bad press.
So says the introduction of one book I packed, Leisure, the Basis of Culture
by Josef Pieper. Time to re-read it, so it went in the bag with three
others. This is the only one cracked open so far, and this the only
internet access in four days. Both a holiday and a vacation, it turns
We mistake leisure for idleness, and work for
creativity. Of course, work may be creative, but only when informed by
leisure. Work is the means of life; leisure the end. Without the end,
work is meaningless – a means to a means to a means…and so on forever,
like Wall Street or Capitol Hill. Leisure is not the cessation of work,
but work of another kind, work restored to its human meaning, as a
celebration and a festival.
We need to be reminded of this. I’m working on it. Pieper is a good aide.