Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Glimpsing Our Vocation

'To glimpse our vocation, we must learn how to be sought out and found by a work as much as we strive to identify it ourselves. We must make ourselves findable by being seen; to do that we must hazard ourselves and make ourselves available to the world we want to enter. Finding and being found is like a mutual falling in love. To have a possibility of happiness we must at the beginning fall in love at least a little with our work.'
--from The Three Marriages--Reimagining Work, Self & Relationships.

6 Comments:

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

Falling in love and staying in love are two different things. The romantic notion of being a writer can wear pretty thin once you get down to the nuts and bolts of the job.

 
At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Sherri Henkin said...

Thank you for this reminder, "To have a possibility of happiness we must at the beginning fall in love at least a little with our work." Being in transition, searching for a new position, it's easy to forget to fall in love with my work, to want to find work that is my passion. In short, as your blog says, to "work with words!"

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Kim said...

To paraphrase something I read ages ago in a theology book (I cannot remember who originally said it, perhaps Dietrich Bonhoeffer?), a vocation is where the heart’s passion meets the world’s needs.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Jim, I certainly hear you on the romanticism front. When it's your job and profession, there's a lot less to be romantic about. But that's why I liked the careful wording: it talked about falling in love at least just a little, at the beginning. It seemed to me to be a realistic way to think of it. And I also try to remind myself often that literally millions of people dream of getting just one thing published in their lives, much less becoming full-fledged professional writers. So whenever I'm feeling complacent about it all, I force myself to remember that. And if I don't remember it myself, sometimes my friends help me remember, as Sherri has here.

And Kim, a quick google search informs me that it was actually a theologian named Frederick Buechner who was responsible for that lovely vaulting thought. I've never heard of him, but appreciate your adding that to the conversation.

 
At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Jane Levesque said...

John,
Is that the same Frederick Buechner who inspired you on June 24th?
Nevertheless, I like the quote too.

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Good catch, Jane. Yes, he's the very same guy. A fairly obscure name, I think (at least to me), and one I had never come across before. Now, suddenly, he comes up twice in one week. Funny how that happens sometimes, isn't it? Kim gets credit for throwing this latest one out there.

 

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