Saturday, January 22, 2005

"Beware of the barrenness of a busy life." Socrates
I didn't want to do it, but I have, and it is best this way: to have a real job. Socrates reminds me not to let busy-ness lead to barrenness, something I tend to forget with pending deadlines and no time to meet them. Since I started my 8-5 schedule at the insurance company Tuesday, I've striven to start the day with prayer and meditation on scripture. It provides a quiet center for the day.
After 8 hours of staring at the computer screen, though, I'm hardly motivated to work at home. My livelihood no longer at stake, I can work here simply for love.
One of my favorite passages from Kahlil Gilbran's The Prophet reads:
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

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