I was delighted by this from Auden’s Horae Canonicae series. The ‘eye-on-object look’ in which we ‘ignore the appetitive goddesses’:
You need not see what someone is doing to know if it is his vocation, you have only to watch his eyes: a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon making a primary incision, a clerk completing a bill of lading, wear the same rapt expression, forgetting themselves in a function. How beautiful it is, that eye-on-the-object look. To ignore the appetitive goddesses, to desert the formidable shrines of Rhea, Aphrodite, Demeter, Diana, to pray instead to St. Phocas, St Barbara, San Saturnino, or whoever one's patron is, that one may be worthy of their mystery, what a prodigious step to have taken. There should be monuments, there should be odes, to the nameless heroes who took it first, to the first flaker of flints who forgot his dinner, the first collector of sea-shells to remain celibate. Where should we be but for them? Feral still, un-housetrained, still wandering through forests without a consonant to our names, slaves of Dame Kind, lacking all notion of a city and, at this noon, for this death, there would be no agents.