I came to this city with my eyes wide open, I would joke to partners that if I were a sponge, I want to leave D.C. completely filled with information and knowledge. And this city did not disappoint, every day there was something new and fascinating I would learn, either during hearings, listening to speakers or simple banter between friends. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to stay and learn from D.C. most knowledgable people in these last two months.
For our final assignment, the first thought that came to mind when reading “Two Tramps in Mud Time”, was a conversation with a firm’s partner. We were discussing what drives people to come to this city beside the obvious. The point I addressed was that many work in the political arena to establish positive change in the system. Where as the counter argument was that while everyone would like the opportunity to influence policy positively, many forget their original goal with time. This point isn’t hard to imagine, as someone who has worked in environments that are fairly repetitive, I could understand how one “loses their way”. And while the following stanza of the poem does not say the two outside character lost their way I do believe it plays a part.
Nothing on either side was said.
They knew they had but to stay their stay
And all their logic would fill my head:
As that I had no right to play
With what was another man’s work for gain.
My right might be love but theirs was need.
And where the two exist in twain
Theirs was the better right—agreed.
I think that at some point they too loved to their work as lumberjacks but as time went on and more pressing issues came up, their love turned to need. My interpretation of what the writer is also saying is while he understood the strangers position, it did not qualify reason enough for him to set aside and let the two finish the job. I think its important to keep in mind that there will always be people coming in and out of ones life, saying they’re a better option for a project or have more suitable skill sets to complete a task, and to remember ones value in light of what other may be saying.
But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.
My favorite stanza from the whole poem was “My object in living is to unite”. This line encompasses what I dream a life work will be; To work an in industry the empowers and improves peoples future and day to day life. Growing up I’ve seen the toll it has on people who work only to sustain their livelihood, and while I understand the need, I do feel it important to make use ones skills to help others in the process.
This process, for me, can only be done here in D.C., the center of policy making. Where conversations of change start over simple interactions in dinner or cafe meetings. And because of this, I’ll be back. This city may not be my forever home but it will play a part in my life.
See you soon,