Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Horton hears a why

This morning, before I was ready to hear anything, (even) so-called deep (much less good advice), a man who works with us in a supervisory position and who is old enough to get up around 3 or 4 a.m. every day so that 9 is up-time, unlike for me, came 'round talking about "who eats" and how the poor of the world, etc. He was inspired by thoughts and composing an essay.

In other times, perhaps when I was in college, I would have been interested. Most of the time I like what he's talking about.

Since I wasn't able to edit other essays or answer emails while he was talking, I took the opportunity to unpack a box I had loaded up in January when I switched offices; my goal was finding some white peony tea from Shang. Done.

His speech turned primarily to a woman slightly older than I am but who is as "what do I want to do with my life?" She has a master's degree, though, and has just gotten a new job prospect, which involves helping some of the poorest people in our nation, the descendants of those who were here when "we" got here.

One of the things he mentioned, in his sincere advice-giving manner, was that when something feels uncomfortable, it's probably the right thing to do, more so when the risk involved is toward something motivated from . . . what did he say . . .

Compassion? Certainly the word charity was not invoked. I don't remember. I might later. It was early. I was stressed and tired. But it was about honesty and others instead of self.

About six weeks ago I accepted a job writing art catalog essays. Two of them, and then I even said, "o.k." when asked to take on a third, the subject of which was clearly "not wanted" by anyone else.

The third artist has no website and uses Earthlink. Graduated art school when I was about three years old. Etc.

I contacted all three of them in due time and then fell into pits and broke the engagements . . . not really knowing why. Maybe three is too many. Maybe my social anxiety, or to downplay it, introverted nature, is just too real.

Or perhaps the main reason that I don't care, don't care about trashing my reputation with the entire art community by blowing a deadline or about hurting certain people's real feelings and causing major inconvenience or burning a bridge with one person in particular whom I really respect, is that I took this on — like I took on my last art-related gig, still ongoing, two years and running — mostly for money.

I think this started to happen after my last wanted paid job kind-of killed me emotionally and financially. I turned into a bad-relationship rebounder without even trying. It didn't happen before that. I'm sure seeds had been sown, but that fertilizer helped.

And now I'm in the weeds.

The last job I took on because it was my "dream" ended up making my mind-yard run wild with occluding vines.

It's more than a thousand dollars. It is a totally feasible project. Plenty of time. Plenty of capability and previous knowledge (of at least two out of three of these people's work).

Not compassion. Not making the world better. Not even passion. Just money.

I'll fix it in the short term.

Will I learn how to recognize it in the longer one, in the future, and more importantly, in advance?