"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Monday, March 10, 2014

There is a saying in another language

There is a saying in another language
and it is beautiful to hear, the way
the syllables seem to drift aimlessly
like leaves being swept away
in the torrent of a swollen autumn river,
the rain long since fallen,
but the scent of nature strong and pure.

There is a saying in another language
and it is beautiful to hear, though it is
somewhat difficult to translate.
We have worked tirelessly
to uncover the hidden meanings and
have found, very disappointingly,
that now it is just dry, old, English words.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Oscar Isaac, Fare Thee Well

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Performance review

photo by Kevin Trageser

Have you ever had one of those weeks? Everyone knows what this means. Arthur was having that week. The one that could have inspired the saying. The one that could color the lens through which we see all of our "those weeks" when our boss brings his bad home life to the office or no one else is around and we get stuck with all the work. Arthur's week was like all of our weeks had a week of their own.

He wanted to be somewhere else, of course. He had been online all morning trying to decide where he would like to be. Not one of the places he saw stood out to him. Hawaii was beautiful, New York was exciting, Europe was intriguing. But none of them offered exactly what he wanted.

Arthur wanted to be somewhere so pretty that it all looked fake. He wanted to believe that he had been transported to a make believe place, in a painting perhaps, or a photograph of a movie set - all plaster and fine, detailed craftsmanship. He wanted to ride the escalator out of an airport somewhere and be so distracted that his shoelaces get caught in the machinery. He wouldn't even care, he decided - he would just ditch the shoes and spend his vacation barefoot.

Vacation, though? Would that be good enough? Arthur imagined that even a month away from work would be tainted by the constant thoughts of what he had left behind - or, more depressingly, what would be waiting for him like a old, ruined predator that he could never outrun. He hoped that wherever he ended up going, there would be an escalator built like an MC Escher painting - an impossible loop that he would never have to step off of. He could have his meals delivered.

Arthur's Outlook calendar snapped him out of his daydreaming with an ironically joyful ping. He crinkled his face in disappointment and gathered his things. Meeting with the boss. It would go poorly, no doubt.

Arthur's boss spent the meeting yelling about expense reports and unpaid vendors and late shipments. He had brought his bad home life with him to the meeting. It stuck out in the fog of anger like a massive, shining iceberg. Arthur tired quickly of all these subjects. They were all real things - things you took at face value, things you could see and touch and had to get done. Arthur didn't want real anymore. He wondered what it would take to get a few days off. Even if it wasn't long enough, it would be better than nothing.

Arthur's boss noticed him drifting back into dream world, and the focus of his distaste shifted from matters of business to his listless employee. He yelled and yelled, so much that Arthur stopped hearing anything he was saying. Arthur ignored the tirade and reached back to his pants pocket, removed his wallet and slid his work ID out of the pocket it had occupied for the past eight years. He watched the slight dent it had made in the leather collapse slowly, like an open air mattress. He stared at the picture on the front of the ID, noticing the shape, intensity and youth of the smile he gave the photographer that day. A similar smile then came to Arthur's lips. Arthur's boss yelled louder. Arthur's smile grew wider. This was going to be an excellent trip.

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Fleet Foxes, The Plains/Bitter Dancer