Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Very Different Take On the
Thank God It's Friday Culture

'Work is love made visible.'
--Kahlil Gibran, the sublime Lebanese-American author, whom we've somehow gone nearly seven years without mentioning here, an oversight which we're only too happy to now correct. You can sample from his life and work here. Has anyone read his book of inspirational essays, The Prophet? If so, we'd love to hear your thoughts.


At 11:40 AM, Blogger Kass said...

Everyone I know read this book in High School, but that didn't cheapen it for me. Some of the boys I dated actually quoted this, "let there be spaces in your togetherness" when they wanted to break up.
...but I love this quote about work. Brings to mind many books floating around 'out there.' - "Do What You Love - The Money Will Follow." Aside from singing opera for pretty good money, my next favorite job was putting people on ski buses at the airport for minimum wage. They were all happy to see me, looking forward to their vacation in Utah and I loved every minute of it, even though the money didn't follow.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Wow, that break-up line made me chuckle a little. It sounds like a gimmick, reminiscent of George Costanza's "it's not you, it's me" break-up routine.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Art Durkee said...

Hmn. Gibran. Mixed feelings. A lot of folks have entered into thinking and experiencing wisdom, esoterica, and mysticism via Gibran. Yet to stay with Gibran and not keep going is like wanting to stay in kindergarten all one's life. There are broader fields beyond.

I always felt this particular Gibran aphorism to mean something similar to what Joseph Campbell meant when he said "Follow your bliss." Meaning, do what you love, what your heart calls you to do, and your actions will have meaning in the world. It also means, care deeply about what you do, apply yourself to it, and your love for what you are doing becomes visible in the products of the work itself.

This doesn't mean hobby or craft or career "love," as in "I love going fishing." It means finding what it is in life that is most important for you to do, your purpose in life if you will. Do that, and you'll never "work" again a day in your life, because you'll be working at doing what you most love doing. As a creative artist, I'll make art on the day I die; I'll never "retire."

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Art Durkee said...

I'm a big fan of Marsha Sinetar, who wrote "Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow." I don't regard that as just another self-help book, I regard it as an attitude-adjustment book. This Gibran quote is pretty much her message in that book.

Sinetar's book on mentoring ought to be required reading for anyone who teaches any creative skill.

But the book of Sinetar's that I keep giving away copies of is "Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics." This is essential reading, for anyone who has made the connection between right livelihood and spiritual growth. The book is built around several interviews with people who are living contemporary lives of contemplation and mystical life. The sort of people Caroline Myss calls "mystics without monasteries"—which is the new modern paradigm, as few can actually afford to live in monasteries anymore, anyway. We have to get by with our jobs and our spiritual lives going on at the same time. Highly recommended.

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Lou said...

Last week I was a Joseph Conrad quote: "I don't like work, no man does, but I like what is in work, the chance to find yourself."


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