Sunday, February 23, 2014

Get to Work


“A man can only do what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.

Albert Schweitzer


Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.

Aristotle

Our great weariness comes from work not done.

Eric Hoffer


I need to get to work.  There’s a lot to do.  I really slept in this morning.  Obviously I needed it.  Hopefully the extra sleep will have been beneficial.  I’m delaying my writing more than usual this morning.  I read Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener for inspiration and because I made a commitment to read 200 books.  Still, my greatest inspiration is to simply sit here and do my work and wait for my Muse.  So here I go, writing and working and waiting, but not worrying (or trying not to worry).
This really never does get easier.  Today it’s harder because I actually am worried about a couple of things.  Worrying, of course, does no good and actually makes things harder, so I just need to keep writing and then work on what is worrying me.  Work, productive purposeful work, can be such a healing thing.  One of the first things God did with Adam was to give him a job, naming all the animals.  To do this job (and it doesn’t say how long it took), Adam had to be a scientist, more specifically, a zoologist.  He had to classify animals.  This job included linguistics, logic, biology and probably some math. In addition to this, Adam was also a gardener.  His first jobs had to do with living things, plants and animals.
What might we surmise from this?  Perhaps, if I might be bold, I would surmise the following:
1.     It’s a large world.
2.     There is no limit to the knowledge one might acquire.
3.     Many of the disciplines are connected or interdependent.
4.     It’s probably not possible to learn everything in this life, so I should stick to what interests me.
5.     At the same time, I should allow myself to expand my knowledge and be open to new things.
6.     If I really have a goal of reading 200 books, then I can read whatever I want.  Nothing is discounted.  No reading is a waste of time.
7.     Every time I read something new and have a different perception, I am able to understand God and humanity a little more.
8.     I will never completely understand God,humanity or even myself.  But in attempting to learn, I can become more understanding.

So what do I do?  I get my work done, that is, the work I’m paid to do.  Then I work on the work I want to be paid for doing.  I keep reading and I keep writing.  I try to use everything I read to make me a better writer. 
It helps me to remember that I’m completely alone in this.  This is not whining or complaining, but the truth is everyone I know has his or her own life and is not interested or is too busy to help me with mine.  Any time or energy another human being gives me is either a barter or a tremendous act of generosity.  Besides, no one can do my work for me.  No one can read or write for me. 
The only one who can help me is my Muse, but even she waits for me to engage in my work.   Though the ideas are hers, I am the one who must give them form.
So I work.  I work without complaint or regret.  This is what I want to be doing.  I have a room full of books and enough paper and computer space to last me for years.  If I want a mentor, I can have hundreds of them.  All their best thoughts and ideas are waiting on the pages of the hundreds of books I have.  Finance, history, politics, spirituality, humor, literature – they’re all here.  
Am I saying I can live alone in my place and just read and write for the rest of my life?  Would that make me happy?   No.  I need people and people need me.   At the end of the day however (and at the beginning of the day, too) I need to be alone in my house on the beach with my Muse.  That will give me the energy to go out into the world.  What I do here makes a difference out there, one way or another.
It makes me happy to Get Started and to Keep Going…and to get to work.