a man and his work

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I sometimes find that our work to some people should fall into a category,  just what is it you actually are?

As someone who builds rustic wood furniture (among other things) this fine piece of prose by D.H. Lawrence perfectly expresses this question.

What is he?

-A man, of course.
Yes, but what does he do?
-He lives and is a man.

Oh quite! But he must work. He must have a job of some sort
Because obviously he’s not one of the leisured classes.
-I don’t know. He has lots of leisure. And he makes quite beautiful chairs.

There you are then! He’s a cabinet maker.
-No, no
Anyhow a carpenter and a joiner.
-Not at all.

But you said so
-What did I say?
That he made chairs and was a joiner and carpenter
-I said he made chairs, but I did not say he was a carpenter.

All right then he is just an amateur?
-Perhaps! would you say a thrush was a professional flautist, or just an amateur?

I’d say it was just a bird
-And I say he is just a man.

DH Lawrence

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