Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Frankly, My Dear...

For some reason, since the beginning of this year, my readership has been primarily French. I am mildly curious as to what has attracted the Gaulish audience, as I have written little lately directly pertaining to that country. Odd.

I really haven't been in the mood to write this fortnight--a dull melancholy is often worse than a sharp misery, because it doesn't gin up even anger at circumstances which can be poured out on the page. I finally reached the tipping point Sunday, and spent a good chunk of the day in tears, deeply unhappy about having had to give up my calling to be an historian. I love the hunt for documentation, the debates about character and motivation, the human quirkiness that filters through the mists of time. It makes me viscerally upset when I hear people voicing unsubstantiated notions about past events, ignorance dangerous because it distorts truth, frequently lionizes the corrupt and ignores the struggles and accomplishments of the small and ordinary. We had a great lesson in Sunday School about William Carey, a contemporary of Wilberforce and a redeemer of many lives and hearts in colonial India. His was a hard life, particularly the burden of a severely mentally ill wife, and the opposition of the East India Company. That the latter institution was a repressive oligarchy was challenged by a gentleman listening in the row behind me, and I was so glad that the teacher knew to respond intelligently and firmly. I felt like standing up and giving a lecture on colonial economic development and exploitation.

On an intellectual level, I know this sense of "Why, God, am I stuck here spinning my wheels?!" isn't unique to me, but on an emotional level, coping isn't easy.  I know that the race isn't always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but you'd think I'd get a chance to jog or shoot off a volley occasionally, not sit on the sidelines in my tennis shoes and buckler, seeing years of training slip away as my muscles atrophy and my sword rusts from long disuse!

Maybe I am learning humility. Or perhaps I am indulging in self-pity. It's hard to chart any spiritual growth over the last thirteen months.

In the last ten days, I have been freed from a lingering psychological burden almost two decades old, so that's an incredible sense of relief, but I now want to own a new vision for my life, to have a clear and realizable goal in mind. I had thought it would be history teaching. I know that God has gifted me with enthusiasm for this field, and abilities to prosper in it, but it appears that at least for now, I've more willingness than opportunity.

I had a really bizarre and intense dream last night about a PTSD-stricken American soldier, a rabid Afghan jihadist and a female journalist. Not restful, and dramatically misogynistic.

This morning an old schoolmate emailed me out of the blue to tell me about a job opening at a financial services company for which he used to work. I am supposed to talk to a manager there sometime in the next few days. The job would be in Denver, which isn't total terra incognita, and where I do have some family.  I know nothing about the finance industry though, so I would be learning the work from the ground up, if they were to be disposed to hire someone with my eclectic background!

I have arranged to rent a larger (100 sq. ft.) booth at a much-frequented antique mall in North Augusta, SC. I plan to stock the space with furniture, paintings and lamps. The contract is month-to-month, so if it doesn't work out, I'm not stuck financial obligationwise. But I wanted to try my hand at art dealing, since I've assembled a critical mass of original signed paintings and etchings, and the lamps I've put together haven't been flying off the (very tall) shelves at my other booth (I think because most people don't bother to look up above eye level). The booth is well-lit and has pale yellow peg board, which is perfect for hanging up art.  Now to think of a memorable name fore the spot, so I can create a business Facebook page...

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