Love is an excuse to focus on others when we dislike ourselves.
The greatest pleasure of love is the comfort of knowing someone else cares about us. That we matter to someone, and if we were to die, someone would care. It is knowing someone thinks about us. Someone knows us and acknowledges our existence in ways others don’t.
How awful it is, that despite all the talking, all the listening, all the looking, and all the touching between people…we are all still alone. Alone in our minds. Alone with our words. Alone with our feelings. To rot. To grow. To be reborn. To die.
Our mind is the only private place we have, the only place secluded from the intrusion of others, and their sticky prying fingers. Everyone thinks they are right. Everyone is always trying to convince you their way is better. No one listens to what you have to say. Everyone wants you to be like them.
In a crowded place it is the only place we can go to be alone. In a less than ideal world it is the only place we can go to create our version of happiness. Our mind can be a heaven or a hell if we make it so. “Wellness” of mind is the greatest asset. Without it all else is impossible. Life is unlivable.
But how to cure the endless loneliness? The pain of desiring a silent mind? Thoughtlessness? There only seem to be temporary solutions. All else is eternal until death.
Last night, while wondering back and forth around Soho and the West Village, I thought of G and her smile. That smile. Who cannot smile when thinking about that smile? G is so kind and so sweet I could not think of anyone else. G radiates goodness and simple joy; I sense no malice in her whatsoever. I was cool and hot at the same time as little bumps formed on my arms at the thought of G. Then I felt guilt for thinking about G, about holding her hand, and having her arm around my shoulder. There is a purity to her that begs for gentleness and soft words. If G knew I thought of her! G has no idea. No, not again, I told myself. But maybe this is just a passing fancy. It is a passing fancy. A daydream. A dream. An expiring candle. A flash of lighting. Wind chimes. Car exhaust. Nail polish varnish. Varnish, just varnish.
I had my fourth internship interview this week. At the first interview I showed up with no knowledge of the company, the second with the wrong portfolio, the third I wasn’t assertive enough, and the fourth, well, that one made me want to cry. Two were for design offices and two were for photography studios. I’m always reluctant to intern at a studio. I know the artist uses people as his or her minions and then gets credit for all the work. At least in a design internship I can get hands on experience. Photography is done solely by the photographer (How many people do you need to operate a camera? Only one person operates the camera) but in a design office there is too much work to be done only by one person.
I can tell the duo at today’s photography studio tries to act tough and bossy. They’re fastidious about minor details but nothing I cannot handle. I’m attentive and thoughtful. Their silent motto is, “Useless until proven otherwise,” as is the case with other jobs. I can tell at the end of the day they felt sorry for me as there hadn’t been much to do. I didn’t give them a reason to dislike me, as they softened to me by leaving time. I was told to welcome the models, tell them information, cook lunch, and then help put the studio back in order. Models look like regular people in person…some of them should be thankful for editing. I stood for about three hours staring at the wall. I felt myself getting sleepy. I forced myself to think of other places to cheer myself up.
Making lunch was far more interesting than staring at the wall. I was overdressed and found myself scrubbing an oven pan in my button down silk blouse and cotton blazer. The duo keeps telling me if I stick around long enough there might be an opportunity for me. I just have to take care of the gritty work. They both claim to have started out that way. Somehow in my gut I do not trust what they say. I can tell they’re eager to have someone do the tasks they do not want to do. I am not a maid, and these tasks are not only insulting to my abilities, but my time as well. I might as well be working a minimum wage job. Not only would I be getting paid, but I would have more to do.
However I wonder if I would missing out on a good opportunity and if I am being stuck up. Even if I do have to do menial dull labor I would still A) Be at the studio, B) Get to observe how it is run, C) Possibly be involved during shoots, and D) Gain technical knowledge. I know, as with experiences in the past, if one is hard working and nice something will turn up. I guess it is better than doing nothing at all. In the meantime I will keep applying to other internships. I hope someone from the other internships calls back. There must be a way. I know…there must be.
I took off my shoes. Closed my eyes. Lay in bed. Got up. Ate a yogurt. I feel better. Life goes on.
Whenever I feel alone I think of the people I admire and I am not alone. These days I think of Frida Kahlo, Chavela Vargas, Susan Sontag, Virginia Woolf, and Vita Sackville-West. I like to imagine they are out there smiling at me, as I smile at them. I like to imagine they are somewhere out there cheering for me. This may not be true but it is a source of comfort.
Never wait for anyone. If they “don’t know” right away the answer is no— this is an expression of doubt. If there is doubt they do not trust you. They are unsure about the relationship. This is not going to change. Move on. Don’t look back. Go outside and meet new people. Don’t sit around waiting for one person. Time keeps going and doesn’t stop. Don’t stand still for a person who won’t stand still for you.
- To be good to others
- To be hardworking
- To be strong in every sense of the word
At last I am alone.
I am my sole companion.
Nothing anybody else can say to hurt me will hurt me because I dictate what hurts me and what doesn’t.
These people who try to hurt me do not exist and they do not matter.
I believe in myself and my work.
I believe in myself and my work.
I believe in myself and my work.
I am thankful for anything that reminds me I can feel.
I am thankful for art. If it were not for art I would not exist. Where else would I run to? Where else would I escape to? This world is not enough.
Thank you for returning my spirit to me.
In this city of concrete and glass, one is always on the go, there is no time for rest and contemplation. It is easy to get caught in the whirlwind and forget to take slow breaths, forget to feel, and forget to think. There is only time for action, and action does not wait for the right moment. Action is the moment. To live is to act. But no, wait, I am human.
I am telling myself not to think about X even though all I want to do is drink vodka, listen to sad music, and cry myself to sleep.
But no, I will not cry for you anymore X. I will not do this to myself anymore.
Yes, I am bitter, but I will not let it get to me.
I am in control of my emotions. I have goals. I will focus on those goals. I will focus on myself.
For those of us who don’t have love we have work.