Plain and Simple

Which parts of today’s process were a chore? Which were fun? There seemed to be no separation for them.

Time was full and generous. It was as if they uncovered a way to be in time, to be a part of time, to have a harmonious relation with time.

For me time was a burden.

There was never enough of it. In Berkley I ran around breathlessly rushing towards impossible goals — and to that vague ‘something out there.’ When I explained how split I was, loving to do certain things and hating others, the women laughed and tried to understand.

‘Making a batch of vegetable soup, it’s not right for the carrot to say I taste better than the peas, or the pea to say I taste better than the cabbage. It takes all the vegetables to make a good soup!’  Miriam said.

Their intention is to make things grow and do work that is useful. I couldn’t say exactly what the difference is, but I felt a difference. They work to work. Their work time isn’t spent ‘in order to do something else’ — to have free time on weekends, go to a restaurant, or save for a vacation or retirement. They do not expect to find satisfaction in that vague ‘somewhere out there’ but in the daily mastery of whatever they are doing.

–Sue Bender, from Plain and Simple


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