Each of us has some kind of tenacious family ancestry to call on in our work.  No matter the glass and steel look of our office, somewhere in each of our backgrounds lies a layered, gritty complexity, an inheritance of people who came through.  Life is too difficult to survive without tenacity and perseverance, and we all hold an unbroken thread of survivorship by the very fact that we are here, the latest in a very long line of survivors.  Some of our ancestors were dogged, silent, and inarticulate in their holding on, some courageously outspoken, but imagine their disappointment in each of us, looking from the perspective of the particular heavens they inhabit, when we do not take another step for them.  When we do not make a frontier of our own lives.  If they were quiet in their own lives, they must want us to speak out; if they were loud and vociferous, they must want us to be more tempered and wiser with the fire, but none of them, surely, can stomach our willingness to hide ourselves in a bland compliance to powers or careers to which we have made ourselves slaves. – David Whyte, Crossing the Unknown Sea  Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity

my grandfather and my great-grandfather


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