Friday, August 19, 2005


This is from weeks ago, but it's really stuck with me. I was walking down the street on my way to work one morning, and I walked by a bunch of workmen on their coffee break. I didn't notice much--regular guys, you know? Painters, carpenters, something like that; maybe half a dozen of them.

But as I walked by, I heard one of them saying, "I don't know how you can work like that and not have some sense of achievement at the end of the day. What sustains you?"

I'm not kidding. And I wasn't mistaken; it was a very quiet block of a very small street (the 1800 block of Manning, I believe), and they and I were the only people on it.

I didn't hear anybody answer. But now, as I go about my day, I find myself asking the question repeatedly.

What sustains you?


Mare said...

Not to be corny or anything, but knitting. A big mental de-stabilizer for me is INTERRUPTION, and, y'know, reality is a constant, constant interruption (don't ask of what, I don't know).

But knitting, it survives interruption. The deep burgundy fiber that lifted my heart yesterday does it again today; the sweater I finished is still finished, and it's less unwieldy than a stone monument. It feeds my creative hungers, absorbs my nervous energy, uses some talents, and leaves a little something in the world that's better than before.

That sustains me.

obscure said...

Knowing, as I drive down the long driveway to begin my journey to work, that I'll catch a glimpse, or a whisper, of the waterfall in the woods across the road. Knowing my dog will be happy to see me again in the evening, that my husband will almost always be happy to see me. Knowing that I can do for myself if necessary--the gift of knowing how to knit, cook, garden, carpenter, and read and learn. Knowing I have a relationship with my grandaughter like that I had with my grandmother.