Encouragement for the melancholy student

pagetThere is another very safe and simple way of escape when the dull mood begins to gather round one, and that is to turn as promptly and as strenuously as one can to whatever work one can at the moment do. If the energy, the clearness, the power of intention, is flagging in us, if we cannot do our best work, still let us do what we can-for we can always do something; if not high work, then low work; if not vivid and spiritual work, then the plain, needful drudgery.

When it is dull and cold and weary weather with us, when the light is hidden, and the mists are thick, and the sleet begins to fall, still we may get on with the work which can be done as well in the dark days as in the bright; work which otherwise will have to be hurried through in the sunshine, taking up its happiest and most fruitful hours. When we seem poorest and least spiritual, when the glow of thankfulness seems to have died quite away, at least we can go on with the comparatively featureless bits of work, the business letters, the mechanism of life, the tasks which may be almost as well done then as ever. And not only, as men have found and said in every age, is the activity itself a safeguard for the time, but also very often, I think, the plainer work is the best way of getting back into the light and warmth that arc needed for the higher. Through humbly and simply doing what we can, we retrieve the power of doing what we would.

-Bishop Francis Paget. The Spirit of discipline. London: Longman, 1891. Picture: Francis Paget (1851-1911), Bishop of Oxford. Watercolour by Sir Leslie Ward, 1894.

Of course, one could always try something like this (from Savage Chickens):chickenmuse