For some reason I have been reading a book that had such great meaning and impact for me some years ago. It is one of two extraordinary books by David Whyte. This one is Crossing the Unknown Sea. The other, the one I read first on my sister’s recommendation is The Heart Aroused. Both are about work, and the typical work that most of us are engaged in. Typical in that, while there may have been a time where there was passion in what we spent the vast majority of our time doing (work), for most the passion is gone.
I first read these two books when I was in a “normal” job, working for a nonprofit, doing what was, in fact, good work. But like most of us, it had reached a point where it lacked real meaning for me. There are any number of reasons why this happens. But it does, and it does increasingly so as we get into our late 40’s and on into our 50’s and 60’s. Whyte’s books provide insights, comfort and inspiration for those in work who are mostly biding time until they can quit.
So as I was reading him last night, remembering the days when his books resonated so, recalling the melancholy of being engaged in work that no longer called, enjoying the beauty with which he writes And, I was filled with gratitude that I now work at something I love. Add this to the long list of things this Thanksgiving season for which I am thankful.
Whyte said, “What is remembered in all our work is what is still alive in the hearts and minds of others.” What is so completely rewarding about doing our art trips to Italy is that we provide the opportunity for people to follow their passion, and, in so doing, create the things and memories that will keep them alive in the hearts and minds of others. We are nothing more than the vehicle, but what a treat.
And so I give thanks this Thanksgiving for all the guides in my life like David Whyte, who have led me to do something that is helping others follow their love.