Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Circle and the Line

I remember I must have been five or six years old when I was struck by an insight regarding my father's work versus my mother's work.

Namely, my mother (who was a housewife) did the same tasks over and over again, like going round and round in a circle. While my father, who often spent a good part of his day working at his desk in our house, did various tasks and then moved on to the next tasks, like someone walking forward step by step in a line. I remember thinking to myself that by and large women did circle-work and men did line-work.

Of course I was just a kid. I had little idea of men who did circle-work on a factory production line, or women who did line-work in jobs outside the home. Hey, this would've been the early 1960s! And I was young, and my knowledge of the wider world was very, very limited. Nonetheless I think I stumbled into a real insight for a kid of five or six.

I grew up and found my way into a job which is largely line-work. Though it has taken me into my fifties to grow into a deeper appreciation of all the little bits of circle-work which make up so much of my daily routine.

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