Monday, July 12, 2010

The Long Silence

I almost need to steal the title from Franklin's latest post: Patience With Everything Unresolved.  In fact, I almost need to steal Franklin's template.  Being is becoming, and blogs are becoming something else.

It's not that I haven't had anything to say.  I've shamelessly blogged my way through several major life transitions; maybe it's in the nature of the current one to be different.  In any case, I'm not making any promises. 

Briefly, the news is this: I've decided to become a physical therapist.  It's a doctoral degree that will take me five or six years to complete, including prerequisites.  Although I've got two bachelor's degrees already, they're--surprise!--virtually useless.  I recently sent for my transcript, and its dominant theme is 'Course Of Study Undertaken By An Adolescent Mind.'  People under twenty-five should not be allowed to go to college, I swear.

What this means is that I will be broke and working my ass off for the foreseeable future, which will not be a big change.  What will be a big change is that when I'm done, I will be employable at a solid middle-class salary for the first time in my life. 

This could not have happened if I hadn't become thoroughly and irremediably disgusted with the state of the art world.  It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am an idealist--stubborn, possibly naive, certainly foolish.  Art represented part of an ideal to me, and I invested a big chunk of my soul in it, along with considerably more money than my actual income. 

And 'art,' as practiced by the self-styled elite of the global art scene, is a giant confidence game.  I used to think I could either change it or create a niche for myself within it; now I think that my values are incompatible with its founding principles.  Continuing to sacrifice my time, money and attention to this cynical game doesn't make me a dedicated artist, it just makes me a chump.

I've long been aware that I have three vocations--artist, writer, and healer.  For the last couple of decades, I've been weighting the 'artist' as the primary part of my identity.  Letting go of that is a wrench to my ego, but necessary to my soul.  I will have a studio again, I will paint again, but maybe not for a good long time.  Now is the time for exercising my lazy but adequate left brain, and taking the adventure that comes.