Friday, January 14, 2011

Bridges, and the Burning Of

Ooops! Tonight a bridge I burned about 7 years ago might've just come back to kick my ass.

In 2004 or so, I briefly (maybe for 3 months) had a full-time temp proofing job with a national company. The work paid $20 an hour (good pay for Austin), but it was mind-numbingly (and, yes, to me, soul-killingly) dull. Back then, I had no problems finding any work, and I started to blow this job off -- after initially being scheduled for 40 hours a week, I started to repeatedly come in late, then, after a couple of weeks requested a reduction to 20 hours a week or so. After the few months of mental torture, I got hired (full-time, with benefits) by another publishing company I'd been doing freelance work for since 1998.

Seemingly "End of That Story." But... While living up in NYC (2007-2010), I got hired for 6 months as a temp by the same company that I'd dissed back in Austin (I hadn't mentioned my earlier stint there on my resume). After 6 months, the northern branch legally couldn't keep me on as an in-house temp without hiring me, and they couldn't hire me because of the bad economy, so they had to let me go. But since I've been back in Austin, I've been doing a ton of long-distance freelance work for them, which has been paying my bills, for the most part, for the past 6 months....

Tonight, the Austin branch of the company -- the one I dissed in 2004 -- had an in-house job listing that fit my credentials PERFECTLY... I just applied for it. And am hoping/praying that either the boss there is new, or that my old boss doesn't recognize my resume as being from the same crappy employee she had back in 2004!

General Lesson: When you have a decently-paying job, however boring, don't be a cocky shit about your disdain for it. Because when you want/need that job again a few years later when the economy's gone sour, your arrogant behavior might come back to haunt you.

Lesson to Self: The concepts of "Time" and "Experience" aren't on a forward-marching line, with no recollection of either the past or the future. Everything's cyclical. EVERYTHING IS CYCLICAL and has memories of everything else both before and after it.

From the end of "Little Gidding" by T.S. Eliot:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.


And from the last section of Eliot's "The Dry Salvages":

To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
To report the behaviour of the sea monster,
Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers; release omens
By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors-
To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press:
And always will be, some of them especially
Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road.
Men's curiosity searches past and future
And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint—
No occupation either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime's death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender.
For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.
The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.
Here the impossible union
Of spheres of existence is actual,
Here the past and future
Are conquered, and reconciled,
Where action were otherwise movement
Of that which is only moved
And has in it no source of movement—
Driven by daemonic, chthonic
Powers. And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying
We, content at the last
If our temporal reversion nourish
(Not too far from the yew-tree)
The life of significant soil.


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