One of the ideas at work — oops! — in my novel What’s Left, is work itself.
Most of us tend to think of it as menial labor, I suppose, but it doesn’t have to be. In the story, for example, Cassia’s aunt Pia has a way of making every task fun and meaningful. And Cassia and her brothers and cousins all put in hours at the family restaurant from an early age on.
Her aunt Nita also had some insights on work. Here’s one I cut from the final version of the book — we simply had more on our plate than we could manage:
Day by day Nita worked her column like a line cook … a station chef. And she dared tell me journalism’s not like an assembly-line job?
The poet Donald Hall once broke labor out into three kids: work, jobs, and chores. Maybe you’ll see how they differ.
Tell me about something you do for the pure joy of doing it, even though other people might think of as, uh, tedious work.
For some of you, this could be gardening or cabinetry or decorating cakes or arranging flowers or, well, you get the drift. For others it might be an art or sport or public service.
Is it something you also get paid to do? Or could you?