All this stood upon her and was the world
and stood upon her with all its fear and grace
as trees stand, growing straight up, imageless
yet wholly image, like the Ark of God,
and solemn, as if imposed upon a race.
And she endured it all: bore up under
the swift-as-flight, the fleeting, the far-gone,
the inconceivably vast, the still-to-learn,
serenely as a woman carrying water
moves with a full jug. Till in the midst of play,
transfiguring and preparing for the future,
the first white veil descended, gliding softly
over her opened face, almost opaque there,
never to be lifted off again, and somehow
giving to all her questions just one answer:
In you, who were a child once–in you.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
If you make the decision to tough life out as a working writer, it’s pretty much a given that at some point or other, you’ll have to supplement your income. And that means part-time jobs, thankless jobs, mindless jobs, labor-intensive jobs. But you take your lumps, because hey, it’s all just fodder for your future novel/memoir.
Yours truly has worked her fair share of side gigs–waitress, office assistant, PR rep, lab study participant, etc.–for the sake of some extra income. And I’m planning to dive into the exciting world of food service again, very soon.
But apparently–and I’m totally stoked about this–there’s a universe out there where professional writers don’t have to do any jobs but writing. They’ve never had to lift a finger in their lives to do anything more strenuous than clack away on their laptops.
And if they do, well–well gosh, it’s just quaint, isn’t it?
Take it from this New York Times piece by Caitlin Kelly, a freelance writer who decided to pick up a part-time job (part-time as in once a freakin’ week) working as a salesperson at a clothing boutique–for funsies!
Sometimes I feel like Alice slipping through the looking glass, toggling between worlds. In one world, I interview C.E.O.’s, write articles for national publications and promote my nonfiction book. In the other, I clock in, sweep floors, endlessly fold sweaters and sort rows of jackets into size order. . .
The contrasts between my former full-time job and my current part-time one have been striking. I slip from a life of shared intellectual references and friends with Ivy graduate degrees into a land of workers who are often invisible and deemed low-status.
Congratulations, Caitlin. You just discovered that there are other people in the universe! People who aren’t journalists. And have crazy things like diversity and no college degrees. OMG!
Listening to: “For Beginners” – M. Ward
A quarter of a century, people. This guy (points, Fonzi-like, at self) is OLD. I promised myself that by my birthday, I’d get a job, health insurance, and a haircut.
…. hey, one out of three ain’t bad, right?
At least it’s gorgeous as shit outside. (If shit were gorgeous). Maybe I’ll go to the beach or somethin’. Party the other night with buddies = amazing.
The first two things I saw this morning = this comic:
…and this poem by Matthew Rohrer, from a hand-printed zine I once picked up at The Strand for 48 cents:
Into the vessel, pour your great work.
Each of you is the universe, though occluded.
Expand hungrily into other people’s routines.
Open the door to protein.
Three purple trees and new groundcover in the wet woods.
Stand beside their occult murmurs.
Your friendship is the great work.
Listening to: “After Hours” – We Are Scientists
And once again, Garfield Minus Garfield proves itself to be shockingly astute.
Listening to: “Bad Days” – The Flaming Lips
Hi, blog. Long time no see. I’m sick of dealing with reality at this particular moment, so I’m retreating into your virtual catacombs. Well, I don’t mean reality, per se, so much as The System. Bills, insurance, parking meters, dirty dishes, job applications. That kinda shit. Which actually, is sort of the opposite of reality. I prefer real reality. The kind that doesn’t come in a can.
And when I find that unprocessed stuff, I’ll be sure to give you a holler.
I snapped a picture of this grafitti outside CVS in Allston. According to Wikiquote, it’s a Native American proverb:
Did you know:
Microwaved coffee isn’t so bad.
THE MORE YOU KNOW.