In another wonderfully insightful morsel from Brain Pickings Weekly, Maria Popova makes an important delineation between two kinds of tensions. She contrasts the usual rubric of work/life with what seems to be an infinitely more meaningful lens through which to attend to our lives, productivity/presence. The insight comes in consideration of David Whyte’s book The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship.

From Whyte’s book:

The Brain Pickings article is worth a read, and Whyte’s book looks to be also.

The full quote:

Human beings are creatures of belonging…Interestingly, we belong to life as much through our sense that it is all impossible, as we do through the sense that we will accomplish everything we have set out to do. This sense of belonging and not belonging is lived out by most people through three principal dynamics: first, through relationship to other people and other living things (particularly and very personally, to one other living, breathing person in relationship or marriage); second, through work; and third, through an understanding of what it means to be themselves, discrete individuals alive and seemingly separate from everyone and everything else.

These are the three marriages, of Work, Self and Other.