My life’s work

laptop with baby in the backgroundWhat is your life’s work? Do you have an answer to this question? I often lose sleep at night thinking about this. It is basically the same question as “when on your death bed, what would you think made your life worth living?” Because it there is no higher reason for these little lives of ours, isn’t it the only option for us to create our own reasons?

I want my writing to carry a message. I know it’s not the most “artistic” of positions, if you believe that art should be only for art’s sake. I guess I don’t anymore. I do think still that art has curative powers no matter what, but what if the artist stood for something? Isn’t that even more laudable? Isn’t that even more helpful? Artists have loud voices that can help societies progress not only on an emotional, mystical, imperceptible level, from the inside out, but on a rational level, by giving words to unspoken realities and to unseen future possibilities.

I see my books as my life’s work and feminism (women’s spirituality in particular) as my message. If I manage to write convincingly about the things I believe in, I will have fulfilled all my dreams and my life’s work would be completed.

And as I write this I suddenly feel a pang of guilt: what about my children? Don’t they matter? Aren’t they my life’s work? But such thoughts are quickly refuted. I can only do so much for my children: I can love them, nurture their bodies and their spirits the best I can, but how they turn out, in the end, is their own work, isn’t it? I can’t take much responsibility for that. Maybe I’d speak differently if they weren’t doing such a great work at being really fine human beings, because that would awake the guilt-ridden mother in me who takes the blame for everything.

Now I should probably be going back to the writing table (couch) and contribute to this life’s work with more than just a blog post. Because that second book is  still a good way from finished (editing seems to take longer than the actual writing of the first draft, and for good reason).

4 thoughts on “My life’s work

  1. I don’t think children are our life’s work, not really – we may start out on the path to having them with a little narcissistic dream of them somehow representing our immortality, at least at gene level, but no – they are all too apparently their own people, their own work as you say.

    I think that writing, for women at least, is too good an opportunity to not try and suffuse with some sort of message, so long as it’s not didactic. I need to think on this some more. As I need to think on your opening question…

  2. I don’t think children are our life’s work, not really – we may start out on the path to having them with a little narcissistic dream of them somehow representing our immortality, at least at gene level, but no – they are all too apparently their own people, their own work as you say.

    I think that writing, for women at least, is too good an opportunity to not try and suffuse with some sort of message, so long as it’s not didactic. I need to think on this some more. As I need to think on your opening question…

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