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February 18, 2004
A large serving of things to do before getting on the train: write an eMo, mail books, go to the bank, pack my suitcase. This is how we are, squeezing one more task into an extra thirty seconds here and there, bringing work to the doctor's office to do in our laps while we wait to be seen. Work to do on the train. Work to do when someone misses an appointment. Resolving to stay up late and finish work, and then falling asleep over it.

What if there is a quota of work from each of us that we don't know about? What if there is an agreed-upon amount of production for each of us, and what if it is tied to our ability and energy, no matter what we think? What if it is reached at 9pm one day, and that's just it, period -- so that it doesn't matter if you struggle to keep your eyes open until eleven, you won't accomplish anything anyway? So you might as well give up and call it a day, because the quota comes from God and you never win a battle of wills with God.

What if the work that sucks the whole of your life away doesn't really need to be done? Or, at least, doesn't need to be done by you? What if it's part of somebody else's hidden quota and you just don't know it? Or maybe it hasn't been assigned yet?

And what if there's a union? And doing someone else's work without knowing it deprives him or her of a job? What if everyone has a secret quota from God, and my overflowing my quota leaves you falling short of yours? What if one person's being absolutely amazing means that someone else doesn't get to be amazing enough? And that some amazing people don't get to show the world who they are at all?

What if the world is a ball of energy, glowing and pulsing with its own hum? And all the people and all the animals and the plants hand things off to each other, each taking his or her turn and then handing it off to the next, so that all the time we are moving and then standing still while another moves, in a process that never stops while we are here? And what if there are shifts, shifts that begin and end, so that everyone can take part and everyone can rest?

Wouldn't work be a different thing if we thought this were how things were? If we felt ourselves part of an energetic chain? If we had help? The Boss calls for a moment of silence, before we begin. Be careful today, everyone. Watch out for each other. Let somebody know if you get tired and need relief. And come and see me if you fall behind.
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