Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Choice

The intellect of man is forced to choose
perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.
When all that story's finished, what's the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.

- William Butler Yeats

6 comments:

Always On Watch said...

A love story!

How do you find this stuff?

Thersites said...

My daughter found this one...it was nominated for an Oscar.

FreeThinke said...

Not a word you'd prefer I use, I suspect, Farmer John, but that video is darling. One of the few things I've encountered recently that merits the appellation.

Yeats is so stern, so formidable, as to be off-putting but grim though his phrases be, he understands the MERRIMENT that lies beneath it all. Oh yes it does!

HOWEVER, many believe that happiness -- or fulfillment -- I prefer the latter term -- can only come from devotion to a purpose thought by oneself to be a mighty one. [I must confess to borrowing that from Shaw, because you know so much you might have caught me had I attempted to fob it off as original. ;-].

Living well is surely an art, and I don't want believe one must choose between "living" and "working" as though the two were mutually exclusive.

One of my numerous old aunts once gave me this advice on the occasion of my tenth birthday:

"Get your happiness out of your work, or you will ever know what happiness is."

Yeats may have been a genius, but aunt was no dumb bunny either. ;-)

-FJ said...

It is the rare individual who can marry the two, life with work. I've always found it necessary to get my bread in a place separate from endeavors that I personally found compelling. But such is life...

beamish said...

If you love what you do, you'll never have to work for a living. I'm almost there :)

Always On Watch said...

I'm going to post this short for Valentine's Day.