Monday, March 15, 2010

Off the Grid - Week 46

It's Monday. I don't know about the others (what shall we call each other? The uncubed?) but Mondays are potentially the deadliest days of the unemployed year. Because I'm working part time, for several months now, Monday's have been anxiety provoking but also artistically satisfying. I don't have to grade papers, I go to the Hang 'n Fold late in the afternoon for a short shift, so really, Monday's are kind of my day to just be.

I often have an art project, a blog update, chapters to revise and, of course, jobs to research. I try to stay off Linked In because it smells too obviously of fast-food breakfast and the gassy releases of an indulgent weekend. (In other words, it reminds me of my corporate days.) Too many shadows in black suits and electric blue shirts are vying on Linked In, for what, I don't know, but Mondays are busy there with silly updates.

I woke today, not once but many times, with the feeling that I have been treading water long enough and that I need to start swimming. At the 6 a.m. waking, thought I was directionless and therefore needed a map. I imagined the map and realized I would need several maps because I had several "journeys" ongoing and one set of instructions wasn't going to do it.

Art journey. Next stop is a show due to open May 6. Plenty of direction available for this life. There's a list of pieces to be finished and experiments and mockups needed. Time in the APS to be scheduled. Supplies checked. Designs constructed. I could spend all available spare time on this journey. I should.

Novel journey. Ah. Until very recently, I spent Mondays happily revising "I Want to Live Here" a mystery novel originally posted on this site. Revisions of chapters 1-19 are on and I am, or had been, posting one or two chapters a week. But not too many days ago, I crept into bed with the idea that I'm not a very good writer after all. The book is shallow and bare and I probably don't have either the heart or the skill to make much of it. It will not be the answer to my father's question: have you made any money lately? (He died in 1994 but his question persists.) Today's work was half-hearted at best. My writer hands are cold and my imagination clogged with fear and a kudzu of cliches.

Freelance journey. Three promising emails in the last month but no work. If looking for a full-time job is like trying to date on, or fit in with the sons of my mother's church friends, flirtations with editorial directors on the prowl for freelancers is like sleeping with the ones you want on the first date and then wondering when the next call's going to come. (And I hope none of you fabulous people are reading this now, but if you are, hey, I'm available. Call me. Any time. I know you're busy and having a job is actually harder than not having one. Don't feel guilty. Not about me. I'm fine. Have a cookie.)

Full-time job. Yeah. Like who's going to hire a girl in her subprime? And hand over all that health insurance to someone who, statistically speaking, is going to need all of it in the next five minutes? Look, my mother died of natural causes at 91 and I am likely to do the same. I'm a bargain.

Hope this didn't seem like a rant. Readers never comment on rants.

Happy Monday to all of us.


chickory said...

au contraire, i love rants. rants are crackling with life.

i understand so much of what you are saying. it occurred to me recently that perhaps i didnt get a job i applied for because i too am subprime. at least i can grow my own food...oh wait, no...not if the ground NEVER dries out. Dear God this weather is killing me. the blue skies of atlanta today were not available in the weird micro mountain climate and it was dreary and cold. i cried a few times today. no money. no prospects for money and no ideas, really, on how to get money.

behind on the art journey big time. whatever i do have ready will have to be enough.

wait. this is a rant. im stopping now.

im your sister in spirit!

Sending Pages Out to Dry said...

thanks Chickory,
There's a book in your life. Let's write the chicken story! Seriously. You draw, you talk. I write. I edit.

Cary said...

Yes to both of you. Stumbled across this older post that sounded interesting...That would be a wonderful book!

I finally decided to tell people "I'm retired." I'm worn out from mourning the fact that I am not called upon to do productive work for others, so I am finding out what feels like productive work for me. Thanks to mom, I'm not desperate for the paycheck, but work means more than that, as you know.