Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday at Work

In many parts of the world today is an official holiday, schools and offices are closed. So when I arrived at the office before 8 in a spitting rain, I had the distinct feeling that I shouldn't be here, that I should be working on an essay at home with a second cup of tea.

Instead, I have a few minutes for a few words. And I'm giving them to the poet Mary Oliver, from her book of essays Upstream:

It is 6 a.m., and I am working. I am absentminded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It does not include mustard, or teeth. It does not extend to the lost button, or the beans in the pot. My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. ... There is no other way work of artistic worth can be done. And the occasional success, to the striver, is worth everything. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave it it neither power nor time.
Thank you, Mary Oliver. I hear you.

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