‘Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life.’
I walk along the beach and what I hear, in my mind, is the phrase: “let this be your good work”.
It is crisp and it is beautiful. I look at the sea and the coastline, at the dark outline of Mussenden Temple in the last moments of daylight.
Let this be your good work. This walking. This breathing deep.
Let this be your good work. This paying attention. This finding words to tell about it.
Let this be your good work. This making space to think and listen, to plan and to write.
Let this be your good work. This honouring of your nature and your needs and, maybe, even, your gifts.
Let this be your good work. This consideration of why you write and who you’re writing to.
You are writing, of course, to the ones who think their work isn’t good enough and their contribution doesn’t count. You are writing to the ones whose homes, and heads, are noisy and demanding, the ones who are longing for a little quiet. You are writing to the ones who have been suppressing the stirrings in their souls and the phrases in their minds. You are writing to the ones that isn’t working for.
You are writing because when you listen to your own disquiet it is hard, but when you don’t, it isn’t your life. You are writing because you want to be one of the people Parker Palmer writes about, the people who “decide no longer to act on the outside in a way that contradicts some truths about themselves that they hold deeply on the inside”. You write to stop conspiring in your own diminishment, to encourage others to do the same.
Let this be your good work. This weekend. This one ordinary thing. This doing your own life. This stopping and calling it good.