October 03, 2011

On Work

Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work."
And he answered, saying:

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite. ... And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret. ... And what is it to work with love? ... It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit ... Work is love made visible.

I am starting my new job tomorrow. It is not only my new job, but also in most ways my first. I am not anxious or afraid, but tense, curious, and slightly uncertain. Will I like what I have to do for money? Will I be able to use my creativity in new ways to further goals other than ideals and my own good life? How can I bring my personality into my new environment to make it richer and not lose myself in work thus making everyone poorer? What new potentials will this unleash in me? What will I discover about myself that nothing up to this point has brought to the surface?

Maybe I have become idle and lost touch with the procession of the seasons. If so, I am going to make up for it now by bringing myself to a new task and breathing life and love into it.

The waiting has an end and the energy is starting to rise again. Here I come :)

And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny

Wherever they drive the boat.

To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,

But life without meaning is the torture

Of restlessness and vague desire--

It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

(Find the full text of Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" here. The last quote is from the "Spoon River Anthology" by Edgar Lee Masters)