Spirit is most patient with Mud Toe. This is good, because Mud Toe is a very, very slow learner. Mud Toe is very focused on what he wants, or, more often, on what he has been taught to want, so the messages of Heavenly Beings and Spirits have often bounced off the pickets of his mental fence. But after 48 years of struggle, I think I have learned to recognize lessons once they manifest, at least most of the time.
I am an unemployed person once again. The reasons don’t matter (although I’ll write about them another day, I’m sure). What’s important is that I was planning the next twenty years of my life around that place where I was working, and I went in this morning at 8 am and by 8:15 I was in the parking lot of the bank with my last paycheck in my hand, trying to process the emotions. And before the bank’s doors opened at 9, I had decided that I was feeling pretty good. Relieved, really. And just a little bit giddy. I returned the bank manager’s pleasant “Good morning!” and I even flirted with the teller a little bit.
Holy shit! I guess I really didn’t want the job that much after all.
It’s true that it had a number of elements I didn’t care for, and in my three week career it had seemed I was doing those things I didn’t like most of the time. That might have changed as the weeks and months rolled by, but it also might not have. Then there was the 6:30 am wake up time, and the 20 minute drive each way, and the parking hassles near my apartment.
But I don’t think any of these were enough to justify my happiness at being let go so unceremoniously. I believe it was much more about the things in my life that I was giving up in exchange for a forty-hour-a-week job. I found I was giving my friends and family short shrift. Also, I sacrificed my daily walk to wetlands preserve. Finally, and most importantly, I was doing barely any writing anymore – I even missed my blog entry last Tuesday, and there’s been no progress at all on the larger projects since I started the job.
Therein is the lesson from Spirit. To gain a sense of security, I had given up the three most important things in my life: my writing, my relationship with nature, and my connections with my friends and my family. And to what end? No matter how many hours I work or what the hourly rate, I am never secure. It could be gone in the wink of an eye, as I found out today. The noted humorist Marcus Aurelius said that we should place no value on anything that can be taken away by another person. Any job can be taken away, but my craft, my woods and streams, and the ones close to me will always be mine, even when distance or even death intervenes.
As I left the bank this morning, Spirit’s lesson crystallized in my head. Again, it is not the first time Father Sky and/or Mother Earth and/or All My Relations have tried to drill this into my head. I am Mud Toe Sasquatch, a philosopher, and a purveyor of words. I am a writer, goddamn it. No matter how hard I try to be something else, I will always, always, always, be a writer. It’s time for me to start believing that lesson, and living it.
Perhaps this time, it will finally stick.
Copyright 2013 by Mud Toe Sasquatch, all rights reserved