A good day yesterday--warm enough and working in the sun on the front picket fence, replacing pickets.  Easy work, but every job is its details that cannot be taken for granted. Each time is the first time, since each instance can be slightly different. This comes under don't assume.

No blood; ten fingers; the first whole section done. 

Given some skills, some experience, the effort is being alert, being careful each time. 90% of every job is repetition.  Genius, in this context, is the ability to fall into the rhythm of the job and make it new, each time.  You can call it "competence," but I think it's more than that.  It's an odd combination of mindlessness and mindfulness: staying on the job. 

I speak from a privileged perspective, choosing to do this work.  I've watched the TV show that shows how things are made--fascinating, the clever machines used. But then I look more carefully at the men and women who feed and react to the machines--serve their needs--and think that this is what these people do five days a week, eight hours a day--and then, almost every time, change the channel--that's quite enough of that particular hell so many inhabit to pay the rent.

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The inconstant beauties of April and death, my death, are on my mind. 

Here, the Teacher, Ecclesiastes (7:4):

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

Something too humorless about this wisdom--we can't visit the "house of mirth" for balance, as cloud balances sun?  But as bedrock wisdom what is truer?


 


Comments

Denise Smyth
04/28/2013 7:23pm

That quote made me think of something I read...it was something about dying every moment. I didn't exactly understand what the author meant. Maybe he meant we should stay present to this moment, the one that's happening, the only one there is, and that means letting go of what came before. I guess that's practicing dying, in a way; I mean, dying is the final letting go...

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