Selving: Linking Work to Spirituality

Selving: Linking Work to Spirituality

Selving: Linking Work to Spirituality

Selving: Linking Work to Spirituality

Excerpt

The act of "selving" is poet G.M. Hopkins' idea of--and invented word for--the crucial human act. The whimisical image on this book's cover is of the twenty-year old Hopkins looking at himself in a lake, wondering, no doubt, about what kind of man he saw down there, never dreaming he might be sketching a poet to be memorialized by a floor plaque in Westminster Abbey next to Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth. Eighteen years after the cover sketch, he put the same puzzlement into words in the octet of his 1882 sonnet.

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name:
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same,
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells:
Selves--goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came. . . .

This book flows from these words. Hopkins claims that birds, stones, musical instruments--and humans--"deal out that being indoors each one dwells, selves. . . , " and concludes "What I do is me."

The book carries out this "selving" theme. For each of our fifteen narrators, it is an exercise in story theology, working from their own story. They write about their work experiences--their teaching, their writing, their relationships--and identify explicitly or implicitly the . . .

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