Younger colleagues I knew and admired had not been advanced as a reward for working on SiR, and clearly there was a fair amount of scut-work
. So I demurred and delayed, served a brief apprenticeship under Morton Paley, which was helpful (but he went back to Berkeley, I noticed), and then....
In such an interplay of means and ends, where the two activities, prayer and work, become one and conjunction becomes identity, Brother Lawrence seems like the artist; but Levertov argues "Your secret was not the craftsman's delight in process,/ which doesn't distinguish work from pleasure--." Since his daily work itself (which was largely scut-work in the kitchen) was not the way into the presence of God, but was merely what he did while in the presence, "the Adamic legacy" of labor as a curse was irrelevant.
Calling him "joyful, absorbed," Levertov says Brother Lawrence learns to practice the presence of God "as a musician / practices, hour after hour, his art." These lines invite us to think of what the musician does in daily practice, the larger part of which, like the discipline of meditation or spiritual exercise, is the equivalent of scut-work, practicing scales, repeating the simplest training on the instrument, in preparation to make music.