Anhedonia and Acedia

I really enjoy Julia Cameron’s work, especially The Artist’s Way.

This little piece came to my attention most timeously – I’ve let Sieglinde the Inner Nazi take over this entire weekend because of my anxiety regarding the outstanding tax and all these other important but not urgent as in must-be-done-this afternoon Things…  finally they’re all rising up like a gathering tsumami and I’m going to be giggling with terror if I don’t get down now and start ploughing through them and not stop till it’s done. But now I have a strong case of anhedonia – the inability to have fun. No really – it’s a word. Go look. Anhedonia has a sister too – Acedia. More on both of them here.

But – always good to be reminded of good, valid, moral, healthy, useful and practical ways to prevent the dire sisters from moving in.  So – am glad I saw the blog mentioned at the beginning of this missive when I did. Not a minute too soon! Many thanks to Kitsch Kombuis on Facebook for the link. Go like them. They’re fun.

Tomorrow begins a week in which I need to turn out two projects involving quite a few pages, and I want them all to look amazing. I shall really have to make a plan to feed my soul somehow, somewhere… maybe I’ll go and try out the Long Street Baths – was last there at the beginning of the century. From what I see on Google, it’s still fabulous. Wa-hey!

So back to the tax. I think these figures are all going to go into the correct little slots much quicker now. And once they’ve passed under the hands of my tax guy, the Receiver of Revenue will love me again, reward me with a tax clearance certificate and for the first time in a VEERRY long time, I will feel efficient, on top of things… and creative.

It’s such a sentimental exercise, going over old bank statements like these, it brings it all back much better than a diary, even. Once I went through an awful time, with an affair of the heart. More than once actually, but this is about one particular time. Looking through the receipts and bank statements of that time left me so astonished. There was the evidence of an apparently normal life going on. I had the car serviced. I bought groceries. I had haircuts, and paid school fees, altered school uniforms. My goodness. I couldn’t remember any of that at all. But apparently this shell that represented me, went about her business and nobody was any the wiser.

On second thoughts, diaries provide a more accurate account after all. Or perhaps both together provide a whole picture? The inner and the outer life. I love the prosaic detail of historic figures. The shopping lists, the instructions to self and others to do this and that. This is where the real person lives.

Can you imagine Marilyn Manson’s shopping list, or that of Mary Magdalen? Brangelina? Lucrezia Borgia or Michelangelo? Jesus’s shopping list was quite short – he just told his disciples to get on with it, find the people some food. Now that’s delegation at its finest. By all accounts, the gents got quite grumpy with him too. So hard to find decent help even in those days.

As I mentioned many blogs ago, historians found Marie Antoinette’s shopping list, with little pin pricks choosing what groceries were to be bought that day. The humanity of bodily needs being seen to – we all have to eat, wear clean clothes (well most of us…) and get where we’re supposed to be. It’s in these minutiae that intimacy dwells, and there’s great charm in the way we can all relate to these mundane little items.

Which reminds me – if I don’t go out and get those sheets in, I’m not going to have a comfortable night… my name is not Ascetia.


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