Now both of my parents, the long line through the plain,
the meadowlarks, the sky, the world’s whole dream
remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two,
helpless, both of them part of me:
'Your job is to find what the world is trying to be.'(from the poem Vocation)
William Stafford, you the Man!
What is your job? Do you like your job? What would be your dream job? How does your job contribute to what the world is trying to be?
[Please, take some time to answer the question.]
In this poem called Vocation, Stafford points to a greater truth about the call of each individual; it is connected to the dream of the world. You see, I believe most of us seek to live our own dreams. We want to be all that we can be for us. In a line from Being a Person, Stafford writes: “Suddenly this dream you are having matches/ everyone’s dream, and the result is the world.”
What is the world trying to be? Imagine that: the world has desires, the world has hope and the world has a calling? What is the Middle East trying to be? What is the continent of Africa trying to be? What is America trying to be?
As some of you know, I am married and we have a five year old son. Once I read this poem, I suddenly realized that I have gotten it all wrong, all wrong. Everything changes when I ask myself what is my wife trying to be and what is my son trying to be? All this I ask in the context of the world…
So there you have it: a vocation is always about the world. Check in with the world before you wreck the world. Jah Rastafari. Next time: Mary Oliver.