As the realization that art school prospects are slim and cutting my own throat sinks in, I put my mask back on in preparation for the jobby job I have to do next week. I am fully prepared to cut my own throat and milk the system for as long as I possibly can, even if I am unable to complete a degree. The question is not if, but when, and I’ll have to cross the how question later and pray to God someone will hire a quinquagenarian (over fifty – I had to look that up!) as I compete with co-eds for student jobs. I have to pay down as much debt as I can here in Korea in the upcoming year and a half. Whether I put it off an additional year is the big question, though I am setting a goal of applying before I hit half a century, so two and a half years is the latest.
Behind the scenes the hours fly past as I work on the latest TRACK projects, punctuated by chick flicks (which remind me of the relationships I almost but never had but still I toy with that pain and possibility). The work is a blessing for all of us at TRACK, as it gets our minds off of our collective and individual loneliness/despair/alienation. It’s just how it is. It’s a taking-care-of-business mindset, a steel resolve to just plow forward. We get things done. And even the pain of getting it done (for example, rounds of 14 emails between three of us trying to edit a Korean’s interpretation of our English for meaning so we can be assured their Korean translation is on point – and people think good German translations of English are hard to obtain!) And it’s tedious work. But somehow, we make it happen. It is much better to do than talk…
The work is salve to wounds, and empowerment in a state of helplessness. These days: these days are like all the planets are out of alignment and everyone I know and care about‘s personal lives are in a state of collapse. It’s a time of crisis. And I feel so inadequate, unable to help.
I did buy a sweater shaver, and that helps me. I sit during my breaks and defuzz everything in sight, in little round wax-on/wax-off circles. It’s magic. It makes my old things and second-hand purchases all clean and new again. If only life were that easy.
I wish I hadn’t bought water-colors, as it’s too anal-retentive. I need oils but there’s too many things needed to get started with that. But oil is forgiving and the inverse of a sweater shaver, leaving marks, artifacts of thought/humanity. Thoughts you can pick up again and complete later after contemplation. Much more like writing.
In the mean-time, I have my sweater shaver.