Thursday, July 29, 2010

Work, Sometimes

I was sad all day, and why not. There I was, books piled on both sides of the table, paper stacked up, words falling off my tongue.

The robins had been a long time singing, and now it was beginning to rain.

What are we sure of? Happiness isn’t a town on a map, or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around with a poem.

Then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard were full of lively fragrance.

You have had days like this, no doubt. And wasn’t it wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a moment!

As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.

Yesterday was a scorcher. Perhaps not so overly hot with a high of 97, yet so engrossed in my multiple writing tasks I had not thought to turn on the air-conditioner which we often do in the late afternoon. Then the wind began to blow and the trees to bow down before the inevitable. Rain came in sheets and thunder shook the keyboard beneath my finger tips. Then, and only then, did I prance up from my desk, throw open the front and back doors, and marvel and the power before me. This morning, the garden spider under the house eaves is busy, meticulously repairing her expansive web that the storm damaged. As she slowly spiraled her masterpiece, thread by thread weaving I thought of how much work this is for her, only to have the web constantly degrading. My spouse remarked, "Yes, it's a lot of work, but what else has she got to do?" I suppose in this ongoing work she finds spider happiness. Might we too let go of the perfect outcome so that we might enjoy the perfect storm, while working on for joy, for life, for each other, for the interconnected web of life?

What is the great, ongoing work of your life?


  1. My ongoing work is 'me'. I have accomplished many things in my lifetime, but feel there is still work to be done to make my life complete. I am continuing to explore various avenues to spirituality. There are some empty spots where I put off doing something and now I know I will never be able to do certain things. I need to fill in the gaps with other happy activities.

    While I was the 'good little girl' trying to be perfect I discovered there was no such thing as being perfect. I still work at non-violent communication and other imperfections.

  2. From Tee Lee - It's funny how Mary Oliver often speaks of being in/with nature as the ultimate accomplishment. Here she even seems to be putting down writing: "good work ongoing" is "not likely to be the trifling around with a poem". Why not? Why not? Well, maybe just because it contributes so much to our happiness doesn't necessarily mean it contributes to hers. But I really don't understand.