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Writer

Dear Kim,

I think I may resenting administrative work right now because I see my time slipping away very quickly all of a sudden. I realize how deeply I have connected with myself since I have been out here and how I am concerned about losing that connection when I go home. And I am concerned that I will not figure out how to have sufficient time and space to write in the way I have now learned or perhaps remembered that I want to write.

In my twenties, when I had the series of the crappy, demeaning jobs that English majors usually have in their twenties, I used to scheme to figure out when I could write.

At one job, I would inhale yogurt so I didn’t have to waste time eating a sandwich and could use all 30 minutes of my lunch hour to write. At another job, I would race through my work and try to steal 15 minutes here and there when my boss wasn't looking. Or I would get up really early before a long commute

That was a depressing time. It would be dark before I left for work and dark when I came home.

The past few years, when I have had deadlines for big commissions, like writing the Sage Cycle for the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus or writing and directing an original performance piece about diversity for SSM Healthcare, I would literally carve the time out of my other responsibilities.

I would strain and labor when I was already exhausted, ever conscious of a ticking clock. Both projects came out well and there were moments of real pleasure in the construction of each. But there was not the pleasure that I think I could have experienced. There was not a sense of a leisurely unfolding of my imagination. And I feel kind of sad as I look back on that time. Almost like I was disloyal to my creative spirit. That there was a kind of violation that took place.

I want to figure out how to do things differently.

(Kim: I, of course, am having these same thoughts. Cherishing free moments . . . putting off other "things to do" so that I can make another drawing. I wonder, as I'm reading what you wrote, whether we'd do as well with the time. Though I did have some periods of free time (once 15 months!) and I did great.)

Later,

Joan

Monday, Feb. 13, 2006

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