Last year I worked at a call-centre for four months and, in that time, even though I was miserable and I hated every minute of what I was doing, I always knew very explicitly what I was and was not. I became part of their community, somehow, I won awards, it seemed, incidentally, but I understood that everything they were, I wasn’t. It was, maybe, easier to know what I was in opposition to my daily existence than it was in the months afterwards, when I didn’t have to work, not in the same way, and during which time I feel I lost something vital.
I am a very plain, average person, with talents as well as delusions.
When I have “succumbed” to my delusions, I’ve noticed desireable (often pre-determined) outcomes are exalted and held distinct from undesireable (often unknown) outcomes. I feel, however, that all outcomes and all experiences should be exalted, because that is closer to my experience of reality. Work becomes less desperate when it becomes less precious, when it is separate from consequence. It is, maybe, wrong to conceive this as a means for increasing productivity, but I am more productive when I feel this way. My productivity is a by-product of a diligent and focussed mind.
At the musuem, I am concentrating on producing simple and unaffected material, work that doesn’t require much foresight, or intelligence, or creativity. (I admit that this might change as I become acquainted with the form.) What my work at the museum does require is will. Will is a practice, not an attribute. My relationship to the material and the environment is not antagonistic, as it was at the call-centre (far from it), but it is a struggle. It’s only through that struggle that I can come to know myself.