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On the Brink of Everything by Parker J. Palmer

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IV. Work and Vocation

Writing a Life

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Introduction

I began working at age thirteen as a “landscape architect.” For three long, hot summers, I mowed lawns. But I moved up in the world by working as a caddy, public beach house maintenance man, research assistant, community organizer, consultant, professor, dean, writer, founder of a nonprofit, and workshop and retreat leader. And yet, naming the jobs by which I’ve made a living is not the same as naming the vocation by which I’ve made meaning.

The way I’ve earned my keep has changed frequently, but my vocation has remained the same: I’m a teacher-and-learner, a vocation I’ve pursued through thick ...

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