"You are all your work has"

Maeve Brennan in a letter to Tillie Olsen via Letters of Note:

“I have been trying to think of the word to say to you that would never fail to lift you up when you are too tired or too sad not [to] be downcast. But I can think only of a reminder—you are all it has. You are all your work has. It has nobody else and never had anybody else. If you deny it hands and a voice, it will continue as it is, alive, but speechless and without hands. You know it has eyes and can see you, and you know how hopefully it watches you. But I am speaking of a soul that is timid but that longs to be known. When you are so sad that you ‘cannot work’ there is always a danger fear will enter in and begin withering around. A good way to remain on guard is to go to the window and watch the birds for an hour or two or three. It is very comforting to see their beaks opening and shutting.”