for work that is real

We all know working isn’t the greatest. When you’re paid to do something, it makes the job less magical.

On the other hand, there’s nothing more attractive than being around hardworking people. It’s like I kinda hope their passion and work ethic will rub off on me. They inspire me to stop watching reruns of The Hills, get off the couch and get working.

I’m trying a new thing now. Or I’m trying to try a new thing. I’m looking to do work I’m truly passionate about.

There are all kinds of reasons to pursue a specific career and many of them are obvious and can’t be ignored (examples: paying rent to keep from being homeless, buying groceries to keep from starving), but when all that’s taken care of, you’re left with the “why.” Why am I working so hard at a job I’m not passionate about?

It’s a question we should ask ourselves before our mid-life crisis rolls around.

To be of use, Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

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