Thursday, January 28, 2010

what if

It occurred to me last night, in the dead of night (as it always does), that perhaps I have come to where I am in life not by virtue of my accomplishments, but on account of my mistakes.

I've been updating my resume, supposedly applying for a Blacklock Fellowship, the envelope for which has to be postmarked by the 31st (and I am nowhere near done, stupid, here I sit blogging instead.) A look at the last ten years prior to the church made me go groping under the bed, where, amidst plentiful wads of dust, I found my two "portfolios" of relevant ephemera: a book of articles I wrote that were published between 1999 and 2001; and a book of clippings and programs that prove my 16 years as a producer and curator. It's a resume of a life-track that has largely gone underground since I got into the church -- writing, curating, etc. I still do all those things, but not for money, and not on anyone's schedule besides my own. Of which I am sometimes proud --- have released myself from the material burdens of that particular pursuit of success --

-- and yet, I'm not sure. I think of where I am right now, and wonder if what I do has meaning. Wonder if anything I've EVER done -- besides mothering my child -- has meaning. Or if it's always been some pretentious play at meaning, when really I'm just a workaholic who has to fill all my waking hours with frenzied activity, allowing my delusions of grandeur to justify and amplify my compulsive scratching. Too stupid for words, really. Not happy unless I'm throwing myself at something that seems impossible.

And mistakes, lots of them, rather than achievement -- it's my mistakes that have promoted me. So maybe I'm extraordinarily blessed -- every time I do something stupid, a new door opens to lead me onward. Or maybe my blessing is like the one you bestow on your toddler -- maybe someone has simply been charged with making sure I don't take a serious existential header one of these days. Angels, heaping paperwork in my lap to try to keep me out of trouble. Frowning exasperated at my lack of appreciation, my lack of satisfaction with what I've got.

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