A Lost Haiku–And Something about the Fancy New Beesly

Sawyer, Sawyer, Jin,
Desmond, and even Sayid,
but not so much Jack.

Hadn’t really thought about putting Desmond on the list until Wednesday’s episode, which I didn’t really like. Maybe I had a bad mood come over me. Ten PM is pretty late to watch content to commercials at a ratio of two minutes to one. I did so enjoy viewing this show on DVD! I am so impatient with the weekly, interrupted broadcast that ordinary people endure.

But I endure it for The Office! Pam’s first presentation at an artist in an art show was shown last night and it made me a little sick for her. I wonder if she’s been encouraging this alter-ego of herself as a potential artist to counter her reality as Roy’s wife. Now that she isn’t playing the role of Roy’s wife she has to play the role of artist in training, but I did not get the impression that she is actually very into art at all. Sure she’s a good at drawing, but come on. A tape dispenser? A stapler? They were true to life reproductions… and her presentation was despicable. Thumbtacks? Has she ever even been to an art show? Does she even talk to people in her class? The pictures should have been mounted at least. Sure, it’s good that she is finally exploring her supposed dream to be an artist, but Oscar is right: She lacks courage and honesty, in her art and in her life.

Because everything must of course come back to me…

I used to pretend I wanted to be a writer. I pretended this for a very long time… probably twenty years. Now, a good chunk of those years were in elementary through high school, where “writing” includes many genre and it’s all about composition rather than structure. And I was very, very good at it. I am an excellent writer. But what did I study in college? Literature. In grad school? Literature. I took writing courses and did OK. In my grad school writing course (with undergraduates) the professor complimented my stuff but said it was all the same and that I should explore more. I was invited to join a writing group. I went twice monthly for years. (Maybe three years, but that’s plural.) It was fun. Everyone was nice and also good writers; we submitted work every other month or so, critiqued our projects, and I started writing a novel. Everyone liked it. The characters were interesting, my phrases clever, and I ended up producing more than a hundred pages of it.

Then the group wanted to change meetings from Tuesdays (or something) to Friday nights and I balked. I did not want to go to writing group every other Friday night, for the reason that it was Friday night and I got invited to other things then. When it came down to it, I was not that interested in writing. It was fun to have a novel in progress and I really liked analyzing everyone else’s stuff, but I wasn’t about to make any sacrifices for it. It was a minor revelation but a major one, if that makes sense.

I am an excellent editor. I am an excellent essay writer. Let’s boast some more: I got a superior rating on my graduate exit exam, something that doesn’t happen every year for any student. You wouldn’t believe the essay I wrote on the spot basically on Faulkner’s short story “The Bear.” I went back to the office after the tests were graded to see if I could reread it but they’d already shredded it and I almost cried. I can read someone’s stuff and make it better. I can even write my own stuff to amuse myself or to impress others. But the lovely art of fiction creation is not my path to pursue. I don’t even like reading poetry. I never have. I equate that to not liking free jazz at all… and I was an excellent musician in high school. For some reason, though, the epiphany that I liked accompanying singers and other musicians (and doing a little bit of vocal direction) more than performing solo came early. Not sure why. I used to be a very good piano player, too. But I was surrounded by really, really, really good musicians who could actually improvise and play more than one instrument. I understood my place in the pecking order in the music department, but in the high school English department I was the frikkin star. (Or had the attitude to believe it, but I did win an award!)

Perhaps I’m not a risk-taker. Perhaps I lack courage, like Pam. But I’m really interested to see if she’ll be written to play out the role of bad artist or if she’ll get the chance to realize that she can transfer her technical art skills (her tape dispenser really looked like a tape dispenser) into something creative that actually captures her fancy. She has already shown the knack for improvising arty things without a lot of notice to please large groups: a bird coffin, Office Olympics medals, and doodling passes her time. I don’t know enough about art to propose any applied art careers besides interior design and graphic design (and some aspects of event planning), but I hope she looks around more. Hell, just looking at the want ads to see what’s out there would open up her perspective. But give up this portrait of the artist as a young receptionist business… if she was really interested in art she would have been to an art show before now… she would have invested herself enough in the artistic process to find out how to present her work… she would have done SOMETHING that showed her to be something other than a poser. I just don’t think she cares. Now drop the role and do something you really want to do!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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