One wheelbarrow load at a time…

P1050033Maybe you’ve heard this story before. A traveler stops to watch some men working. One man pushes a wheelbarrow past, and the traveler asks him, “What are you doing?” The man scowls and says, “What do you think I’m doing? I’m pushing this damned wheelbarrow. It’s all I do, all day long.”

A few minutes later, another workman comes by with a second wheelbarrow. The traveler asks again, “What are you doing?”

The worker smiles broadly and then gestures toward a structure farther down the road. “Can’t you see? I’m building a cathedral!”

I thought of this last night while I was watching my daughters and their friends set off fireworks in our cul de sac. And I thought of it again this morning, as I turned the hourglass over and began writing again.

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4 thoughts on “One wheelbarrow load at a time…

  1. Or, as Heidegger put it as I was reading him this morning:

    “Thinking itself is a way.We respond to the way only by remaining underway. To be underway on the way in order to clear the way. . . .

    “In order to get underway, we do have to set out. This is meant in a double sense: for one thing, we have to open ourselves to the emerging prospect and direction of the way itself; and then, we must get on the way, that is, must take the steps by which alone the way becomes a way. . . .

    “Only when we walk it, and in no other fashion, only, that is, by thoughtful questioning, are we on the move on the way. This movement is what allows the way to come forward. . . .

    “To answer the question ‘What is This which calls us to thinking?’ is itself always to keep asking, so as to remain underway. This would seem easier than the intention to take a firm position; for adventurer-like, we roam away into the unknown. [Love this!] Nevertheless, if we are to remain underway we must first of all and constantly give attention to the way. The movement, step by step, is what is essential here. Thinking clears the way only by its own questioning advance. But this clearing of the way is curious. The way that is cleared does not remain behind, but is built into the next step, and is projected forward from it.”

    What Is Called Thinking, trans. J. Glenn Gray (NY: HarperCollins, 1968; orig. Was Heisst Denken? 1954).

  2. Yes, definitely, humbleness. And another thing he believes is that when we are on this way, we are also being careful to protect That-which calls us to this thinking and questioning concerning it. I love (and I deeply feel myself) that faithful thinking always strives to protect That-which we are thinking about; That-which calls us to think for its sake.

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