Saturday, February 25, 2012

Making A Living

So, what do I want to do with my one wild and precious life?  I want to make a living through art.  To be clear, I want many things.  Wanting is an issue of mine.  A habit.  A kind of difficulty I run up against constantly.  But there is precious little language around to describe our dreams, to write about the path one chooses to take.  So here, I'll use the language of want, though I struggle against it in many ways.

In arriving at "making a living through art", I went through many phrasings.  I want to be an artist.  Well, I am one.  Period.  I want to earn a living through art.  Well, we don't earn our living.  It is given to us.  We just make choices about what we do inside of that living.  I want to earn money through art.  This is true, but I don't want the money, exactly.  I want what money gives me, or what it could give me if I ever had any.  I want the freedom to make the best choices in my life.  Which all brought me to the concept of making a living.  That felt right.  After all, what do I do?  I make things.  I always have.  Yes.  That is what I want in life, what I want to do in life.

The next question, of course, was how.

I have a Masters degree in Writing Poetry.  Sounds fancy, right?  I had dreamed of it much of my life.  But when I got into it, I saw that while earning the degree was a valuable learning experience, what it gave me was a pathway to academia.  Academia is not for me.  Godspeed to those for whom it is, but for me, it was a cage.  Even a cage of one's own choosing is still a cage.

I went searching for something else, but for a long time (years), that searching looked an awful lot like running away.  I think I was running away, no matter what I called it.

In time, I reached a place of awareness--an amazing gift if ever there was one.   Now, I'm looking back and learning from that running away.  I am just beginning to apply that knowledge.  This blog is a step on that path.   I'm not exactly sure where I'm going, but I think I know where I've been.  I think it's enough to be on your way.  This blog is meant to chronicle that journey, wherein I make the art--the life--I've always made and call it that.


  1. Thanks, Jane. You inspire me, you know!

  2. i'm just catching up, and i love that this was the first post i read! i didn't see your earlier mention the mary oliver poem until i scrolled down, but i immediately recognized the reference. i keep that poem near my desk as a "touchstone" for the difficult days.

    your insight about the running away / searching was very wise, and i will definitely think more about how it relates in my life. i also think that the running away / searching could also be thought of as a necessary lull -- one you may have needed for things to come together both in your brain and in the universe. have you read "there will be time" by peggy o'mara?

    love all of your work! xo