Saturday, January 07, 2006

~:W O R K * W I T H * M E:~

I love teaching. Love it. I love listening. Love it. And the poem below describes why. I am sick of whiners and complainers. I hate anything that isn't productive. I love and admire a push forward. I am inspired by people who search. Who listen. Who absorb. Who question. Who ask. A new quarter has begun at Portfolio Center. Monday I'll meet the new batch of first quarter students. It is such an event to meet them. Giving them a positive and hard-working invitation to plunge could not be more exciting. Doing it with them is even better.

To Be of Use
by Marge Piercy -

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

1 comment:

Mary Campbell said...

Amen, Anne.
Great poem.
If we are not put on this earth to evolve, to question, to learn and to love, what is the point? I have to believe that is precisely our purpose...and, in the spirit of sustainability, to leave the world a better place than we found it.