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Work Advice

Approach work as if you were
another in the factory of craftsmen
building warriors in ancient China.
You do the same task all day–
craft torsos from long coiled ropes of clay,
Or form clay hands, empty or grasping a sword.
Or paint the eyes, adding features—a scowl,
a dashing mustache.
All day, turn your mind away from the ranks
of blank faces surrounding you, waiting for you,
the one in charge of fierce or sweet expressions.
When your energy fails, pretend a stranger
from the future whispers in your ear,
with news ridiculous but heartening:
They swear that centuries from now,
this enormous, crazy task
will be not an army but an art.

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