Convenience is not class. Past a certain level no matter how high you rise life will never get easier for you. Living is difficult. I mean being with yourself. Existing alongside imperfection, your own and in what is around you, what always will be. Accepting that you do not have the power to change and influence. Accepting that the world doesn’t bend at your whim.
Now we think of labour as moral—a protestant ethic. If you do not work hard you do not deserve to live. That is bullshit. But work is important. The medievals talked about this. A life without labour is hard to live. A life lived in convenience and luxury unmoors you, setting you free in the worst way.
There are different forms of labour. Different forms of difficulty. Living alone, working from home, materially comfortable. This is its own kind of frictionless environment. This is depraved and languishing luxury.
Somehow I missed this the first time, even though Lisa told me about it. Garret begins discussing a recent encounter with the father of a friend of his from Vermont, how he made a point of visiting him at work and taking him out to lunch. He segues from questions about his future into thoughts about personal (and societal) development. Below I’ve excerpted a large chunk.
But the non-university way is different. It makes you different. Now I spend my time working, as part of the workforce. I work everyday, and I go home tired, so I sleep. I dream about all those authors who struggled with meaningless day jobs and had to write through the night (Kafka and co.), and I think about how difficult it is to penetrate the way of the working world and produce something artful. To even have time for art. And also how difficult it is simply to be in the professional position of doing something you love to do. Why are so many people doing things they essentially don’t want to do, but have to, for the sake of self-sustenance, for the sake of others? When life spins on the beat and figure of a paycheck (and for whom doesn’t it?) ultimately what kind of a society are we living in?
At times, I’ve become very dissatisfied with the current organization of society, even, and this is going to sound odd, murderously so. I killed ideas that suggested a life lived now, steeped in our “hypocrisies”, could be meaningful or worthwhile, and subsequently opened myself up to an entire freight car full of the same sorts of hypocrisies that I was decrying. Well, my situation was different, wasn’t it? Continue reading →