This content was published first in The Sunday Letters Journal: https://sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com/p/get-to-work by Larry G. Maguire on Tue, 25 Apr 2023 13:40:26 GMT
Expanding on a thought on work by author, Joan Didion.
“I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that's what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”
And so this raises the question; will I care when I’m gone? If I do not do the work or, indeed, never find it, or do work that I think is worthy of my time and effort and yet comes to nought, will I be remorseful? When I’m lying between the sheets in my final hours I will likely be empty for not doing it. Or I may have done it and yet heard no applause because they didn’t find it. Or they did and ignored it. Will I care? Who knows. I can’t answer any of this, and to do so might be interesting, but gains me little except anxiety. So the work, in this sense, is what I’m doing now. Who are you who reads this and could you give two fiddlers if I disappeared without a trace and everything I have ever written? That is also not a question for me because whether you read me or not, there is some compelling something that urges me to tap this keyboard regardless of open rates or comments.
Our work, whatever that may be, must be the following of a thread—an attempt to answer the question. What question? The one that can’t even be asked because it has no ultimately satisfactory form. But I know for sure, working for some other reason than the one that cannot be explained is a waste of whatever time we have. And if you have no clue to what I refer, perhaps you have some more searching or the doing of useless work to do. Regardless, get to work.
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