Saturday, January 28, 2012

Well, I Wonder

Me circa 1995 when I started teaching and still had one foot out the door.  

Being an artist is the noblest thing one can do: finding beauty and meaning where none exist. Art is a sublime delusion. MorrisseysWorld via Twitter

My friend Rafe recently sent me this picture he took when we shared a flat. He's an excellent photographer so we messed around a bit with photos during that time. But it made me think about the fact that it was taken pretty close to the time when I began my career as a teacher.

I Hoarsely Cry, Why . . .
It's amazing that I stayed in the profession after my first two weeks of teaching in a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles. My second week of work I had a fight in my classroom with two middle school girls both taller than me-I am 5'10"-and a drive by shooting. All on the same day!

Although I no longer teach under those conditions, teaching is a sensitive subject. I have avoided writing much about it for various reasons. One, its kind of boring. Two, there are numerous frustrations associated with it. Three, its dangerous in that teachers have lost jobs over what they put out there in the cyber world. Do I need to list numbers four through ten?

Gasping But Somehow Still Alive
I, like perhaps many other people on this planet, long to join the nobility of creators. Teaching does allow you to create. The teacher is the writer, the producer the actor the bouncer and sometimes even their own audience. And yeah, the audience is quite literally "captive." 

More about the audience: try finding a more critical and discerning group of people than teenagers. 

However, most of the time it is not art.

I will be brutally honest and say that teaching is not my passion. I am passionate about teaching. But I'd rather be writing. I've always had one foot out the door.

I admire those artists who were willing to starve themselves rather than settle for a more secure occupation. Patti Smith is one.I read her memoir  Just Kids during the summer A great book called Pan and another called Hunger in which the author, Knut Hamson, describes in great detail the sacrifices a true artist makes to pursue his or her craft puts into perspective the heroics of holding fast to your dreams.

I just wonder if we all strive for more? Is it just a few of us? Are there people in the world who long to be accountants or customer service representatives in their wildest dreams?

As I spend more and more time in the Twitterdilly Arms with my kindred souls, do they feel a longing? Are we reaching out for Morrissey's hand or lapel because it represents the greatness that we could not attain? By holding onto them are we vicariously "great."?

Please Keep Me in Mind
I would venture to say that in all likelihood, the Twitterdillians are a talented group. I don't know what each of their passions are.  In fact, for all I know they could already be doing what they are passionate about.

Mr. Rat at has written a parody that is quite entertaining and of course if you like poetry and literature you will want to check out created by a Twitterdillian.

But by the mere fact that they appreciate art through Moz, then I know that they must be able to recognize true art elsewhere as well. I think, too, they dream of more.

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