04 October, 2016

Notes from the Bunker #4: There's more than one way to baptize a cat

 What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn't have any doubt - it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn't want to go anywhere else.  - Hal Boyle

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.  - Heraclitus, the weeping philosopher

Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time? ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha


 There's something comforting about having to start over. At least, there must be -- since I tend to do just that, in some form or another, over and over again.

In my latest regeneration, I'm working as a waiter/grunt for a local catering company. That's my paying gig, anyway. I'm still at work on other projects like my podcasts (The Kentucky Muck Podcast and the up coming Alidade: an audio map), my poetry, and some new short stories. I'm applying to go back to school -- not to study English*, or Creative Writing**, or God help us Rhetoric and Composition***, but to work on plying my skills elsewhere where the machine isn't so broken and the culture not so apathetic.  But for now, the Parsons/Hay household needs more than one salary and "unemployment insurance" that does not insure any kind life above bare sustenance. And while I have spent the better part of six months looking for work using the skills and experience honed over the last 13 years, I am back to working with the one thing I have always been able to count on -- my back.

When it come to work, I'm not a snob. All work is noble and deserves respect. I've held enough jobs in enough fields^ that I know there isn't any difference between the respectability of "white collar" and "blue collar" work. When I was a janitor and when I was a college instructor, I saw work in fundamentally the same way:

Work is a massive and inevitable inconvenience that I seem unable to shake off.

 As I mentioned in a previous video update, my motivations for working have less to do with me than with wanting to be a good husband. I don't mind work, of any kind, as long as I have a reason. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that staying alive should be enough of a reason. You're thinking that I wanting to contribute to society should be enough. You're thinking that not wanting to be a bum should be enough.

Clearly you don't know me at all. But that's ok. Read enough of me and you'll figure it out.

Some might see my exit from 13 years of higher education experience into a field where I have
hardly any experience at some sort of decline. People who view life in this way -- as some mountain to climb, a la Sisyphus -- might see this as tumbling to the bottom only to have to try and roll the rock up to some unattainable pinnacle.

Embracing that kind of metaphor can be tiring, and I have too much to do that. Once I let go of the fundamental illusion  of "until" and "someday", life ceased to be a mountain and it became a river. Sometime it ebbs. Sometimes it flows. Sometimes, over the course of years, it changes course. But the current always knows where it's going. I doubt I'm going to retire from the line of work I'm currently in. But I know why I'm doing it, and I'm grateful to have the work. I may not be able to avoid the inconvenience of it just yet. But I can follow the current.


____________________________________________________
*Not Again.
**Writers learn to write by writing. And failing. And more writing.
***Hell, no.
^I can honestly say the only kind of job I haven't had yet is a nightwatchman. But I'm young. There's time.

If you like what you're reading here, I have work for sale on my amazon author page:
www.amazon.com/author/mickparsons
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