24 February 2012


Al Purdy on leaving his job at the mattress factory, in his autobiography Reaching for the Beaufort Sea (Madiera Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 1993), p. 144:
There was the feeling that things had gotten away on me somehow; I was no longer in control of my life. I'd quit that crummy job at which I made the top wages of $1.65 an hour, and was terrified to be leaving it! That job had been a large part of my world, at least had made the other more important parts financially possible. My feelings before leaving Vancouver Bedding must have been exactly the same as those of millions of other people stuck in boring poorly paid jobs and who keep working at them all their lives. Now I was making a discovery, the same one other quitters make; it's terrifying, but also exhilerating. Quitting is a word with disgrace attached, but it frequently makes good sense.
Ibid, p. 227
[S]omething irrational had stirred in my brain. It said: stop wasting your life conventionally, waste it yourself, unconventionally. And I said: who are you to tell me what to do with my life? (You hafta treat these inner voice know-it-alls as if you have some rights too.) So I went.