There is a time when we may reach the understanding that no matter how menial, boring or trivial work seems, there is nothing better for most of us than to fill our lives with regulated activity. Only the living are allowed to work. The dead contribute nothing but the chemicals that make life possible–tending, always tending–never becoming, never being. Is work so bad when the alternative is nothing?
It is best if your work is that which enables you to truly realize yourself. Yet it is difficult to know which work can bring about this crystallization.
For years I believe the only work worth of the name was creative work of the artistic kind–work best suited for those of superior mind and sensitive understanding. How great my pride: how miniscule my knowledge!
Now I know the work that most expands my mind is simple, repetitive, and often boring. Typing lists of things; accounting for life’s unmemorable dross has become an ennobling activity.
I now appreciate, perhaps may some day truly understand, why the man who used to collect the shit from our backhouses once a week never felt humbled by this activity. He smiled and joked like any ordinary man, bore his load with patience, and never, so far as I knew, paid the slightest attention to the snickers behind his back. Never once did I hear him curse or complain. He was never slovenly, never dirty, never smelled. What he carried smelled, but he did not create that–we did. We used to call his truck the Honey Wagon Without him we would have sunk in our own mire; suffocated in the effluent we paid him to collect. The names of many who labored over me to “teach me something” I cannot remember: Mr. Klanka’s example remains with me still. He was then, I have become, not ashamed of menial work . . .
Work is no substitute for love . . . but work can keep us from destroying ourselves when that which we yearn to love is absent. To work is to live to love again.
Opening a line of communication often means hanging from it while the other person decides whether or not to answer.
The difference between success or failure on a project is personality: . . . yours . . . his . . . hers . . .
It came out through the tears . . . the feeling of total uselessness, the anger and frustration at not being able to get through. My son had a simple word for me: abdicate.
When the king departs he has only one last wish: that the kingdom should come to the hand of his well-loved son who will care for its wants as he has done, heal its wounds when it bleeds, and see to its continuation . . . But can the king voluntarily abdicate in the face of uncertainty?
If the answer is ‘yes’ it may mean the kingdom has such a son, or that the king, grown wise with years, knows that all life is uncertainty and only by trusting to the winds of change can destructive conflict be bypassed. Continue reading
Filling out tax forms is the paperknife’s revenge for making it work so hard.
Thus spake Zarathustra: “I took the degree not to prove anything in particular . . . I took it to prove I was ethical . . . “
As far as seafood is concerned, Toronto’s between Calgary and the ocean . . . they love you in Calgary and Halifax, and in Toronto they don’t care . . .