Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Time vs. Money
I'm back. That forty-hour-a-week job that I've been working for the past three months? Done. I was offered another three months as I approached the finish line, but graciously turned it down. Hey, I got things to do. I have books to read, text drawings to do, and blogs to write. And who, if not I, is going to rewrite the book of Revelation? So you can see that it's crucial that I resist the temptation of a weekly paycheck and get back to my real work. I'm not doing it for me; I'm doing it for my country.
So for the past few days I've been feeling my way back into my life. There are many pros and cons when it comes to being self-employed. I don't make a lot of money, so things get tight. I have to live frugally. I forgo the organic ketchup; I blow my nose on toilet paper (one square per nostril). I don't go out much, and when I do, it's on double coupon night. I scuff around in my long underwear most of the time, because it can get pretty nippy here at the monastery, and we have to ration our coal. And so forth.
But see, the way I look at it, money comes and goes. You can always make a wad of money, and then lose it, and then make it again. I don't have that much use for it. I love quality, but I wouldn't wear designer clothes, even if I could afford them, because my temperament won't allow for it. How do people strut around in Prada shoes when there are homeless people sleeping in subway stations? How can I buy an Armani suit when I know that there are mothers who have to watch their kids go hungry? Nope - I haven't the stomach for it.
So money comes and goes, but time? It just goes. You can't get it back. Each moment is a gift, to do with what you will. And I am hyperconscious of wasting time at mundane activities. So even though I don't make a lot of money at my framing business, I have an abundance of time, and I use it well. I sorely missed my usual excess of time when I was working over the past three months, and now, as I feel my way back into it, I'm remembering the opulence of life in the slow lane.
I've been working on some small text drawings. It's easier to figure out the technical issues of my art form on the smaller pieces, and I enjoy the more intimate size. I just completed a piece in which I cut the letters from the Koran to form the first two chapters of the Song of Solomon from the Bible. The chapter from the Koran is "Woman", which I thought was appropriate, since I am one, and since the Song is about a heated sexual relationship between Solomon and his bride. It's a metaphor for our intimate connection with God, and the heart connection that ensues when we discover that God, or the Beloved, is not an external lover or deity, but ourselves. You are the Beloved; thou art That. And when you realize That, you're never the same.
And That is all I got for the time being. Have a good one.
Above: Beloved: The Song of Solomon (Chapters I and II) from the Koran ("Woman"), 7 3/4" x 7", 2009.