When I was a wee boy I was praised for using the big toilet. Since then I have been making shit and seeking praise. Sometimes I wonder if I am looking for praise or looking for people incapable of praise.
I put my challenging abstract paintings in a provincial art organization populated by hobby artists. I play my songs for damaged people who don’t know how to respond. I post my abstract art in Kincaid forums.
Looking for love in all the wrong places
In a purported attempt to broaden your horizons I seek approval. It’s a twisted game.
If I win the prize does it mean you love me? If you say nice things about my hairstyle am I accepted? I spend a lifetime doing my homework neatly and cataloging your rules in order to get an attaboy from someone whose idea of an achievement is neat homework or a prompt job poorly made.
The frame hides the picture
With the preponderance of rules the form becomes more important than the content. The frame begins to occlude the picture. I have a list of incidents and guilty parties. Incidents where great content, a new idea, a jump in growth, a kindness, was overlooked because of an infraction in form. A smudged paper, a late response, too much salt, all supply me with what I am really seeking which is injustice and rejection. I see myself doing brilliant work and then handing it in late, or not abiding by some senseless rule.
What am I really looking for?
I see I set myself up for this. I see others doing the same thing. I see the juice I get from maintaining the list of victimizers. All those short-sighted teachers and bosses who overlooked my brilliance and highlighted my poor attendance. It is an insane game and I’m getting really tired of playing it.
Built in forgetters.
I’ve been here before and promptly forgot. I engage in judgment rallies; feasts of faults and banquets of blame until I am engorged and satiated. There is a pleasure in that game but it is short lived and the hangover is not nearly worth it.
This looking for love in all the wrong places keeps me from looking where it is. In the still small voice. In the quiet giving posture. In asking what can I provide rather than what can I get. It is in the giving that I receive and that hasn’t changed in a long long time. Another lesson I forget too often.