Rendered Fat Content


Henri Matisse: Le Rideau Jaune [The Yellow Curtain] (1915)
" … a man scribbling his living."

For me, writing and even Authoring serve as professions which do not come with TimeOff. I work weekends, holidays, even days of holy obligation, for writing and Authoring seem more lifestyle than job. Every morning seems to bring a superior personal obligation for me to engage, however holy or otherwise. If one works as a writer, one works as a writer, always practicing, never finished. Authoring so far seems no different. One does not remove one's writing boots, kick back, and forget the latest engagement. Writing doesn't finish. It's never done. Just as soon as I finish my daily essay, I'm copyediting the thing. I usually read it through about a half dozen times before I'm satisfied that I've caught all the errors I inadvertently imbedded in it, but even then, I'm apt to return again later to find a fresh couple needing correction. It's not uncommon for my Friday review of my week's writing to uncover yet another few lurking shortcomings needing fixing. The writing work's truly never done.

Authoring, too, seems fundamentally insurmountable.
I see it lurking atop a mid-distant hill, but I doubt that I ever will arrive up there. My job seems to demand that I head in that direction without definite expectations that I might ever arrive, but that I keep at it. It might prove to be infinite effort. TimeOff might seem necessary if one's work proves depleting, but Authoring's supposed to be creating and therefore should naturally prove renewing. If it doesn't, that would seem to be important information. Take TimeOff from renewal in favor of what? Degradation?

I semi-secretly fear that should I take TimeOff, I might lose my gift, such as it is and whatever it was. I sense that the thread requires continual engagement or I might well go adrift and lose the gist of whatever I was doing, whatever I am doing and whatever I am. I suppose that if I engaged in a profession that wore me down, I might enthusiastically agree to take TimeOff. I might be fortunate to not carry that sort of burden, for I engage in the very most dangerous sort of profession. I do what I am, with no separation between job and self, role and identity, church and state. I sense myself inseparable from my work such that if I, when I, am unable to perform it, I might well crash and burn. I might be a walking, pending identity crisis. One day, who I know myself to be will most likely abandon me and render me profoundly bereft. I will not know what to do with myself then.

Some have told me that that's no way to live, but I can imagine no other. I consider myself all in, and while that position might seem naive to some, I cannot countenance any other way to live, no weekends off and no vacation. My work often seems my burden, but more often my joy. The effort sometimes overwhelms me, but what, I wonder, would I rather have overwhelm me? Could I even live without some at least periodic overwhelms in my life? I'm no man of leisure, but then I'm no beast of burden, either. I am an Author, merely Authoring, a writer writing, a man scribbling his living.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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