Saturday, April 23, 2005


I am out of work with no end in sight, or so it would seem. The backbone of my work experience is in the support of health care professionals. There is a hospital here in town which employs 34,000 people, and in this huge hospital, I have a contact. She is in a higher role than I hope to play and she is advising me. She is real. Her advice is useful and real. Her willingness to back me is real.

On April 11th, I filled out an application, handed in a resume, and provided five respectable test scores. All are now in the hands of the supervisor of a real job opening. I wrote a follow-up letter expressing my pointed interest based on internet research and advice from my inside contact. As of Monday, April 25th, that letter will be in the hands of that same supervisor. I do not see the end I would wish for in sight, but I am encouraged.

Today’s issue appears to be perceptions. The strict rule about job seeking is that a job is not real until the first paycheck has been deposited. Nothing short of that is real. The strict rule about a life of faith is that one is never alone with life, tests, applications or letters. My world view says that I have a strong hand with mine on the pen or the keyboard scratching and tapping away. I am encouraged.

Feeling encouraged is a kind of faith. Faith is the assurance of God’s Grace, and Grace is the assurance of God’s love. Being encouraged means that I have a feeling of strength and acceptance regarding the unknown. Fear is always a lie and faith is always true. That there is no end in sight is a lie. My present circumstances must resolve. As much as I want to know how they will resolve, I know that I do not need to know. In this state of cheerful uncertainty, I have a strong heart. God offers me the choice of how I perceive this moment. I will not be disheartened by a foolish perception of something I cannot know.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Scutwork: Work Done by a Useless person

In Narcissus Leaves the Pool: Familiar Essays, Joseph Epstein discusses athletic coordination. In the title essay, he writes ‘. . . I saw a famous professor from the university where I teach carrying hand weights as he walked home. He was doing it in such a herky-jerky fashion that I could read in every step a boy who had never known physical grace.’ I have known physical grace. I have known deep bodily reactivity and the joy of moving. I had no such joyful reactivity of emotions. Those came in a thick volcanic flow of copious, twitching eruptions. I poured myself out to manage this flood. I call it an unholy compensation for unspeakable emptiness -- a self-wounding to feel something other than nothingness – and I call it the best I could do. Not grounded in reality, I was buried in reality’s former presentation. In my deepest self I have flailed no matter how well my body moved.

I had a nightmare about working at a new job. There was too much – too much work and herky-jerky change. I could not manage. I flailed in body and time. I once dreamed that I could fly seated on disk, dressed in a slick hooded body suit, with fingers tightly gripping the wafer under me. Without fear and with perfectly abandoned elegance, I flew over and under the telephone wires with flying neighbors, past our houses with trees and parked cars flashing below. I swooped in blissful response and exquisite control. All was physical grace and grace of deep psychic peace and harmony.

The sentences resist me like a ball of stiff, dry dough. This new writing is not planning how to live, it is living. Instead of unpredictable heaving up, I write with a new mastery of mind and page that flows like breezes and wind -- an uneven but steady process. I stab the dough with a new intention. It rises, warmed with my intrinsic worth. Resistance bends into a grace of character with an integrity all its own.