Saturday, January 22, 2005

"Beware of the barrenness of a busy life." Socrates
I didn't want to do it, but I have, and it is best this way: to have a real job. Socrates reminds me not to let busy-ness lead to barrenness, something I tend to forget with pending deadlines and no time to meet them. Since I started my 8-5 schedule at the insurance company Tuesday, I've striven to start the day with prayer and meditation on scripture. It provides a quiet center for the day.
After 8 hours of staring at the computer screen, though, I'm hardly motivated to work at home. My livelihood no longer at stake, I can work here simply for love.
One of my favorite passages from Kahlil Gilbran's The Prophet reads:
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The problem is this: I don't want to grow up if it means being independent and earning a living at a conventional job. I thought becoming a woman was about being a domestic goddess; for years I have looked forward making home a sanctuary for my husband and family. When I finished high school, I started a business that would provide a supplementary income for things like new curtains or a gallon of paint to freshen up the kitchen. Never was it my intention to actually support myself by the work of my hands!
I'm angry that, number one, a woman's place in the home is no longer heralded important as it was in Victorian days. Two, that in an effort to liberate themselves from the tyranny of man, women have lost the respect and the freedom they once enjoyed as ladies. And three, that no man has crowned me Queen of his realm called Home.
So what am I going to do? If I must support myself, I'd at least like to do something I enjoy. And what do I enjoy? What are my talents? What do others perceive as my gifts? What do I need to do to invest these talents for a profit? Do I keep plugging away at self-education while expanding my business on a shoestring? Or should I put my business on hold while I finish a four-year degree in business or communications? When am I qualified to make my dreams come true?
Can't I live the life I have imagined without altering my dream?
"Good habits are not made on birthdays, nor Christian character at the new year. The workshop of character is everyday life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is lost or won."
Maltbie D. Babcock

Monday, January 03, 2005

"If youth is the season of hope, it is often so only in the sense that our elders are hopeful about us; for no age is so apt as youth to think its emotions, partings, and resolves are the last of their kind."
George Eliot, Middlemarch