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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Back to the ranks

Saturday I baked a cake, because that is just what people in my family do when times are good or bad, happy or sad. It was also a good excuse to use up the cranberries in the freezer before burn sucked all the moisture out to the frosty surface.

In this case, it was a happy cake. After a year and a half of hunting for jobs, I finally landed one. And not just any job: a good work job that grabs my imagination and spirit. A job that asks me to bring myself--and all of that--to the table. So many jobs seem to want just the parts that fit in the slot.

That long period of forced joblessness felt like being cast aside. But now I'm floating in gratitude for the chance to be used up instead. George Bernard Shaw said it best:

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

Thanks to all of you who held me in your thoughts and prayers, sent me leads, offered to make connections, and shared your friendship and larders with me. Not that I was in danger of starving, as those of you who've seen me know. The larder-sharing was neighborliness.

And for those few of you who were unkind, I offer this wish: may it happen to you. Because there is nothing like it to give you time to search your soul and cultivate a little compassion.

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