Repetitive Spirit

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy:

“A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.

It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.

Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance.”

The Muse at Sunrise,Β Alphonse Osbert, 1918:


7 thoughts on “Repetitive Spirit

  1. Lynn Kauppi says:

    St. Paul and Luther both said the same thing. Not quite as elegantly though.
    (I’m alive, just very busy with a freelance editing project)

    • artmodel says:


      So good to hear from you! And glad you’re busy and doing well. Thanks for mentioning Paul and Luther. If you have any good examples of their writings on this idea feel free to send them my way!


  2. thenoveilst says:

    Beautiful and here’s to some insights abut the identity of who God is, in truth on this link: as well as on my blog page. Love and light πŸ™‚

  3. Bill says:

    We were visiting my son and four-year-old grandson last weekend. At some absurdly early hour on Saturday morning, my grandson burst into our room and exclaimed, “Grandma! Grandpa! Mr. Sun is awake!” — and just as quickly scurried out of the room. I must admit that my first thought was that someone should give that goddam Mr.Sun some Sominex πŸ™‚

    But I think that your posting is definitely on target, When I used to put my own son to bed every night, I’d say to him, “More fun tomorrow!” Maybe I was right.

    • artmodel says:


      I absolutely love your grandson’s exclamation about “Mr. Sun!” That is precisely the unbridled joy of children that Chesterton was writing about. And that he scurried right out of the room demonstrates further his energetic glee. So cute. And your bedtime words to your son are also very touching.

      Thanks for sharing!


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