Answering Jim’s Question: Living in My Work

Yesterday, my writer friend Jim added a comment to my “Identity Shift” post about the words I heard in Quaker meeting. He asked: “What are the implications of ‘You live in your work’? Was the next inspiration, ‘and that’s where I belong,’ or was it, ‘and that’s not right’?”

The answer to Jim’s question is important. I understood ‘You live in your work’ to be both an instruction and an explanation. The implications were, ‘I’m doing all this in your life so you will understand that you are to live in your work.’ And ‘I’m doing all this in your life to make it easier for you to live in your work.’

The opening brought an immediate and deep shift. (The word ‘revelation’ comes to mind.) It was effective in several directions: It helped me accept the comings and goings I’ve been pondering on this blog as being a support for my writing work, not an energy-consuming interference. It told me that my writing work was solid enough to hold my weight. It told me that God is an active partner in what I’m doing. And it reassured me that I’m on the right track at last.

“At last” because I started work on my manuscript more than four years ago, and it’s taken me this long to come to terms with writing it. And, yes, the call came in and there is room for me. I’m confirmed for my second three-day writing retreat next Tuesday.

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5 thoughts on “Answering Jim’s Question: Living in My Work

  1. So many thoughts come to mind. “You live in your work”…meaning that is where your life is spent so make sure it is something that you are content doing. “You live in your work”…meaning that is your legacy…how you are known. “You live in your work”…meaning that is where you are most alive. Brings to mind those words “do what you love”…meaning it is your life so don’t waste it doing something that doesn’t make you happy! And, what is the meaning of “work”?

    Whatever the thought…I am delighted that you ARE doing something you love and are good at!!! Is the manuscript a memoir?

    • The manuscript was begun when a friend, who had just listened to my latest account of an amazing coincidence in my life, said to me, “You keep telling these stories, Carol. You should write some of them down.” And I knew she was right. So, yes, Carolyn, the manuscript is a memoir with the working title of “Choosing Miracles: A Memoir of Voices, Visions, and Angels.” My thought is that my odd stories might give people some comfort about life, beyond creeds and organized religion.

  2. Press on, treasured friend! Of course you’re familiar with Parker Palmer’s “Let Your Life Speak.” When I first read that title I thought the book was surely about being a light to those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow. But when I read the book I found Parker was urging one to go deep inside to that most profound of silences and ask the question, “What do I like to do more than anything else?” Your answer to that question, says Parker, is almost surely what you’re best at–and what you’re best at (your primary gift or gifts) is what you are meant to do in and for the world. Q.E.D. I’m betting your answer to the question would be WRITE! And of course you’re a terrific writer, and the first elements of your book demonstrate. And so, dearly beloved, WRITE ON! Whatever else you do, you’re meant, indeed, made, to do that for the rest of us–not to mention for the discovery, eventually,of the profoundly simple person you are at heart. Your fan, Jim

    • Now, Jim, you know Quakers are cautioned against betting. I fear your Q.E.D. is Q.E.N.D. In truth, I don’t enjoy writing. I don’t like the feel of it or the isolation of it. (See my earlier post on “Blogging, Journaling, and Writing.”) I’m hard put to answer what I do like to do more than anything else–other than wandering around looking at stuff. And playing Lexulous on Facebook.

      But, then, those two activities might not be unrelated to writing when I think about it.

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