I can never be an artist. It's hard for me to write about art, because I do artistic work, and I'm publishing these stories as my work of art. But I am not the artist here. Follow that link if you'd like a fuller explanation, but in any case please know that the artist here is my wisdom, not me. I am a little fish; my wisdom is the ocean. My wisdom is love itself.
I love that about dancing. Writing is my only well-developed artistic skill. I took music lessons growing up: piano, guitar, saxophone, flute. I also sang part music in choir, learning intervals with my voice. But I never got past basic proficiency with any of them. Still, I did learn a lot about music. Music became one of my languages. Writing started early and came easy. As a preadolescent I was already writing bad poetry with good bones. With adolescence came prose vignettes that weren't too bad. Like any self-respecting artist I got rid of the early stuff long ago. Collectors and historians want us to keep all that crap to feed their own obsessions. But good artists know better. They get rid of the juvenilia, and continue to get rid of anything mediocre as they go. Dancing disappears as I do it; there are no annoying art widgets produced by the artistic process.
I'm not an artist of dance. I started partner dancing too late to become an artist, but my musical background gives me a boost: I dance musically. Musicality is rare among partner dancers. So skilled partners are happy to dance with me. They say my dancing has more passion than their other partners'. Many guys seem to think musicality is simply learning fancy moves and memorizing the songs so they can fit their moves to the musical phrases. But they do it mechanically. They're not swept along by the music. They're just expert technicians, dancing without musical passion. This is especially true in tango.
Something I came in with. Writing always came easy. I was born with an ability to write. I was a preternaturally good student of my one brilliant writing teacher Elaine. I didn't work harder than the other students in that class, I just worked more effectively because of my wisdom.
Hired gun. Throughout my life I've used writing as a tool, a means to an end. Moving to Tallahassee is the story of writing as a hired gun to get a profitable career. That was a theme: writing someone else's material to get what I want. That was a mistake I needed to make.
Consciously I was just along for the ride. In Boulder, writing paved my way. The theme of my adventure there was that TH wanted my writing skills. He wanted me to work on the project of writing up his teachings. Because of his interest I got lots of attention from him. He invited into his inner circle for a while before my fall from grace, and later invited me to move to Salida. Those 8 months were my happiest days in Harmonizing. I'm not saying any of this was conscious and intentional; far from it. My wisdom was in charge of all that.
New jobs. When I first landed in Seattle I wanted work at something other than writing. My friend Mark Musick helped me out with that. He introduced me to Jeff Fairhall, and I worked several jobs in Jeff's companies. Mark bequeathed to me the job of coordinating the Tilth Organic Harvest Fair. He helped me get jobs working produce at Larry's Market, producing ad and promo copy for both Larry's Markets and PCC, and a volunteer gig writing for In Context. I independently found volunteer work writing for the local Sierra Club chapter.
Didn't I say I wanted to do something other than writing? Writing is my one great gift. I can't possibly keep away from it. It's a lot stronger than any thoughts, ideas, or plans I might have in my pretty little head. It was also the wrong thing for me to do as a career; that was a mistake I needed to make.
So I proceeded to make that mistake. all those writing gigs were either volunteer or small piece work; not much money in that. Also I was getting up at ungodly hours to drive bread around, and I wanted a more sane schedule. I was talking about all this at a dance one night, and the woman I was dancing with said she might have something for me; that's how I hooked up with Sandra.
Sandra was an attorney, and one of her clients was a timber company. A consultant had prepared an environmental study, and it needed editing bad. The only technical editing I'd done before had been health and social service reports in Florida, but I quickly discovered that editing environmental science reports was just a matter of learning a new vocabulary; no prob.
My successful edit blossomed in two directions: the consultant hired me on a temporary basis because he had reports that needed editing, and Sandra and I became lovers. I had a wonderful time with Sandra; she was kind, funny, generous, creative. But I had never fallen in love with her, and it began to feel dishonest, like I was leading her on, so I broke it off.
EVS Consultants. After my successful stint with the consultant I got on the roster at a temp agency specializing in technical writing and editing. After several placements where I didn't fit in, I got placed with EVS. I hit it off with them, and they hired me away from the temp agency. I became their assistant editor.
Windward Environmental. After a few years, staff from EVS split off to form a new company and I split with them as their editor. I worked at Windward for 10 years. But halfway through that decade I began to tank. Going back to a writing career had been a mistake I needed to make, like recreational drugs and marriage. Editing a report was torture. So just after my tenth anniversary they let me go.
Writing as art. Soon after I had my come to Jesus moment in 2006, I started writing websites about my spiritual struggle. It was the first time I'd used my writing skills for myself since childhood. Writing is my only developed artistic skill. When I left Windward I happily continued that writing full time. This is the latest edition, and the work is a lot more challenging than before. Writing this forces me to surrender to the demands of love, because love is the one I'm writing for. Love tests me as I write this, demanding that I have faith in love and abandon pride; this is no longer my writing, it's love's. Pride is unforgivable in the face of love.
I'm a glorified stenographer and I love it. Those websites were my juvenilia. In them I fancied myself a spiritual teacher. I wasn't one then and I'm not one now. Those websites were mediocre art, but they helped me process stuff from the past, especially my traumas from Boulder. This website is different, well on its way to becoming a mature work of art. That's because I'm getting better at getting out of the way of my wisdom, the real artist, and simply assisting in the process.