Work is its own cure...
You have to
like it better than being loved.
Shamash did a lot of talking this weekend when she summoned up the energy to break out of hermit-mode and re-introduce herself back into the tepid waters of Y. social life.
But, she quickly learned that “talk doesn’t cook rice”.
Shamash did a lot of talking this weekend when she summoned up the energy to break out of hermit-mode and re-introduce herself back into the tepid waters of Y. social life. Still high on the news that one of her pieces was selected for a soon-to-be-published collection of stories, she was bound and determined to get out and about the town after a week of the flu and a trip to Europe.
First, there was Halloween Happy Hour at the BC, where lonely jack-o-lanterns threw shadows across the teak bar and the place was so empty, that she, along with French Contessa, Ms. Picasso, and That Trainer Guy, piled in the car to head over the Aussies for their lovely private party in the garden. The Spectrum band was playing (the only band in town worth hiring), and Shamash danced down memory lane with Decalogue. Things livened up when Ponytail sang “C0caine”, and “Satisfaction.”
Saturday, Shamash was off to NN’s art show where she was able to meet some of the local artists whose work she has admired from afar. She couldn’t help but notice that the British ambassador was there, too, interested in the very same painting that she was. That evening, it was time to head off with Dancing Shoes (who always gives good fashion advice!) to a gathering at 100th St., where it was refreshing to reconnect with some of the gang and meet some of the new folk in town. But, from Shamash’s perspective, the energy was low.
There’s talk of more private parties, movie nights, and weekend jaunts out-of-town, but the conversation morphed into that scene from “The Music Man” where jibber-jabberers sing that song, “pick-a-little, talk-a-little, pick-a-little, talk-a-little” like little mice, trying to out-do each other.
As for Shamash, her mind was elsewhere, hovering somewhere near the crescent moon that’s hanging, these days, low in the sky. She fiddled with the ice in her empty glass, her mind wandering out and away to mountains… to a cabin…. to a writing desk...to a fireplace, and laptop where she is writing, writing, writing.
That Chinese proverb is now her mantra: Talk doesn’t cook rice.
So, away with the guilt for being a hermit.
Writers have to stay home, sometimes, and cook rice.
Marge Piercy says it best in her poem “To the young who want to”
Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.
Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.
Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don't have a baby,
call you a bum.
The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else's mannerisms
is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you're certified a dentist.
The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.