Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crossing the Unknown Sea

In his book, Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity, David Whyte writes:
Work is where we can make ourselves; work is where we can break ourselves. It is a making and an unmaking that can ultimately never be measured by money alone. In work we can indeed, and in a moment, build or ruin our fiscal fortunes, or we can slowly and imperceptibly, over long years, destroy the inner complexion of our character. Sometimes to our despair, we know instinctively that work is never done. At its worst we are Sisyphus, pushing the boulder over the last incline only to see it fall back and away, out of our grasp, to the very bottom of the slope, to be pushed back up with the same despairing effort the following Monday morning.
At its best, work seems never-ending only because, like life, it is a pilgrimage, a journey in which we progress not only through the world but through stages of understanding (2001, p. 12).
This quotation speaks to me. I find myself suddenly at this stage of life going through a transition -- a midlife crisis of sorts -- in which I am asking if the work that I am doing is the right work for me, or if it is "a sleep and a forgetting" that is distracting me from the true purpose of my life.

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