I love a good bait-and-switch, especially when I’m the target. Especially when I feel appreciated for being me and not just my willingness to write a check.
I’m always surprised when movie characters are surprised that an artist sees them as walking billfolds, but I’m even more surprised at how surprised I am that it can happen to me.
It’s like that moment in every thriller where someone tiptoes into a pitch-black basement to see what’s making that mysterious noise. The urge to scream “Don’t be an idiot!” is overwhelming, and the result is predictable.
I’m supportive of artists trying to monetize a craft, but if I’m lured to spend money on Project #1 because I’m so wanted as part of the process, then I’m rejected from Project #1 and redirected to Project #2 because it needs more money, at some point my instinct is going to say, “If you go into that basement again, you deserve an unpleasant encounter with a chainsaw.”
So thanks in advance for any further spending artistic opportunities, but:
For those who are considering writing their memoirs and those who are already in the roller-coaster process, I want to share a gorgeous, encouraging quote from Your Life as Story by Tristine Rainer:
“In autobiographic writing as in journal writing, there seems to be an internal wisdom at work that guides us to write what we are ready to understand. Different memories will ask to be written at different times, and this is an instinct we generally can trust. For the most part, people’s natural defenses protect them from memories they are not ready to face.”
When I read this just now, I caught my breath and slammed the book shut for a moment to absorb it. As I work through this fabulous guide, the truth of her statement is becoming clearer by the exercise.
What a relief to know I don’t have to be the one totally in charge of this situation. My brain keeps deflecting what it isn’t ready to explore, thus proving it’s a lot smarter than I am.
"I've always found paranoia to be a perfectly defensible position." – Susan Lowenstein, The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy