Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: A Passion for Work

 

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In books: truth, and daring, passion of all sorts. Clear and sweet and savory emotion did not run in a rippling stream in my personal world— more pity to it! But in stories and poems I found passion unfettered, and healthy. Not that such feelings were always or even commonly found in their clearest, most delectable states in all the books I read. Not at all! I saw what skill was needed, and persistence— how one must bend one’s spine, like a hoop, over the page— the long labor. I saw the difference between doing nothing, or doing a little, and the redemptive act of true effort. Reading, then writing, then desiring to write well, shaped in me that most joyful of circumstances— a passion for work.

~ Mary Oliver, from “Staying Alive” in Upstream, Selected Essays


Notes:

Charles Osgood

charles-osgood

LC: …You are now widely considered among one of the legends, certainly were to me growing up.

Charles: That has its advantages and disadvantages. There’s no joy in winding this up. But there has been a lot of joy in it. There has been a lot of happy memories associated with it.  And they all have to do with the people you work with. And also has to do with the people who are watching, because you really feel it’s all for them.

LC: Do you feel satisfied with this long career?

Charles: No. (laughing). Well, it’s just one of those things that if you enjoy something, you want to keep doing it, and you don’t want it to ever end, ever.  Most people find it hard to imagine that you regard this as work. It’s not really work, it is really a joy.

Charles Osgood, 83, retires from CBS Sunday Morning after 22 years.

And here’s Charles Osgood singing on his 80th birthday


Ok / Day is Done / Time for Recap / Go!

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Source: School of Life “Know Yourself Prompt Cards” via swiss-miss.com

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God

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It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

— David Whyte, “Self Portrait” from Fire in the Earth


Source: Poem – Whiskey River. Photo: Precious Things

WaterPassion

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Kerstin Kuntze, 50, is from Cologne, Germany. She is an artist who uses photography melded with graphic infusion.  She explains in Saatchi Art:

“…and most of all it’s about passion. Picture making has always been an internal compulsion; my first urges began as a child, “I was always drawing” – these impulses continuing through to the present. My search for the internal brilliance of subject matter drives me. My artwork displays a wide range of emotions embodying colors from darkest black to fieriest red. I sincerely desire that my passion and the intensities of my emotion will be conveyed through visual creations touching you in a personal way. There are a myriad of reasons to create – this quest has become my life.

Don’t miss her entire series: WaterPassionº

 

When that happens, you do lose some of the white-hot intensity of your younger years

KwangHo-Shin-art-painting

Ryan Avent has a lovely essay about the reasons modern professionals tend to put in such long hours. As he says, it’s not just drudgery: for many people work is satisfying, a source of a lot more than just money. It can, of course, also be a form of avoidance, a way to avoid the messiness of real life. But anyway, for those lucky enough to have the right kind of work, it’s much more than a paycheck.

I just thought I’d add a note from further down the pike, as someone who’s a quarter-century older than Avent: the nature of the reward from work does change as you get older, although it doesn’t necessarily go away. The phrase that runs through my mind is “the end of ambition.” At a certain point you realize that it’s not about winning another prize, literally or figuratively, getting a promotion, whatever. (And yes, it’s easier to reach that state of mind if you have been lucky enough to get all the prizes you wanted.) Instead, it becomes about the craft, the service, just doing well what you hope you do well. When that happens, you do lose some of the white-hot intensity of your younger years, and (in my case, at least) start trying to make up at least a bit for other things you didn’t do. (Music!) But there’s still plenty of work to do, and plenty of reasons to do it, with — maybe — some new-found serenity.

~ Paul Krugman speaks Truth in: Work, Life, and Everything


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly.

light-eyes-closed-Sergei-Sukhovey

And did you feel it, in your heart,
how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

~ Mary Oliver, from “Swan,” Swan: Poems and Prose Poems.


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you The Vale of Soul Making. Be sure to check out his excellent WordPress blog.
  • Photo:  “Close your eyes” by Sergei Sukhovey via The Sensual Starfish
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

asleep in the hollows of its rigging, waiting to be stirred

Gabriel-isak-moon-solitude

[…]

Always tempted, what a sad
combination of words. And so
you take a walk into the neighborhood,
where the rhododendrons are out
and also some yellowy things

and the lilacs remind you of a song
by Nina Simone. “Where’s my love?”
is its refrain. Up near Gravel Hill
two fidgety deer cross the road,
whitetails, exactly where

the week before a red fox
made a more confident dash.
Now and then the world rewards,
and so you make your way back

past the careful lawns, the drowsy backyards,
knowing the soul on its own
is helpless, asleep in the hollows
of its rigging, waiting to be stirred.

~ Stephen Dunn, from “And So


Credits: Poem: A Pair of Ragged Claws. Photograph: gabriel isak

Lightly child, lightly.

bottle-pitcher-blue

Perhaps we are here in order to say: house,
bridge, fountain, gate, pitcher, fruit-tree, window . . .
To say them more intensely
than the Things themselves
ever dreamed of existing.


Notes:

  • Quotes: Thank you Whiskey River
  • Photo: Mennyfox55
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

One note, low as a base drum

drum-splash
Someone or something is leaning close to me now
trying to tell me the one true story of my life:

one note,
low as a bass drum,
beaten over and over […]

~ Marie Howe


Notes: Photo: Sprogz – Water Drum. Poem: Prayer via Spirituality & Health

 

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