Taking potshots at the places I place my attention. I attend to the sick at work. My attention is riveted on my work much of the day. I make up stories about it mattering. My life does intersect with your death or your near-death or your illness or discomfort. I get involved with that and get paid for that. Paid well. Your health matters to you like mine does to me. Still, as a concept, work doesn’t hold my affection the way art does, the way love does, or beauty, or your smile at my dour mug, or the way the reflection in a car window makes a quick little movie on a tiny little movie screen as I walk by. I hold lots of affection for that.
Steve Jobs died a month or so after he retired. I don’t know really anything about him, but I make up another story, and that is that he worked a lot. He changed my life from way over there, wherever there was for him. To do that, he was cranking. Tirelessly, he must have worked tirelessly. Even though I am given the gift of literally being inside you when I work, I don’t have any drive to be tireless at it. I couldn’t. I have worked insane hours and it takes from me. Not to be trite or obvious, but I find that terribly hard to do. My personality gets drained and emptied from it. I know surgeons who are the opposite. They feed on it. I try to imagine my poor personality trying to get a meal out of constant work and my stomach rumbles. The more I work the emptier my energy gets. Not Steve Jobs. Don’t you think it had to fill him? Did it fill him the way the plunging syringe fills the junkie? Was it like water to a thirsty thirsty man? One month after retiring, he retired. Working long enough is exhausting, as in: I was tired before, but now I am re-tired. Peace to you, Steve Jobs, and to all the working, worked-out, tired, dying and the dead.