i walk into my husband's studio every once in a while just to watch him work. i brought marvel in today because i want our son to watch him, too - to see ian's ponderous attention to detail, his meditative patience. it seems to me that ian's work is to closely observe reality and to honor and depict his experience of it. not a bad life's work.
watching ian in the studio this morning made me think about my own work. i (and my partners) have owned herndon heald for 5 years. since starting that business, i've become a wife and a mother of two and i find that each day requires of me a tremendous amount of work.
ian and i have always had a pretty easy relationship - we really get each other. but now that our duo is a quartet, we have to work at things we didn't have to before. i've always heard that marriage and parenting are a lot of work, but i understand that now in a way i didn't before. in this context, i believe the word 'work' holds two different meanings:
it means labor like, "damn, i'm working hard at this..."
and it means achievement like, "wow! great work!"
in the moments when i feel burdened by of all the work of family life - exasperated by each day's seemingly endless chores or the maddening protests of children - I TRY to remember that THIS is my life's work, that loving and caring for these 3 exceptional people might just be my greatest achievement.
and that soothes me.