Tuesday, November 08, 2005

In college, two friends of mine published books of their poetry using a "publisher" who was a friend. It really was nothing more than letter-size sheets stapled together in the middle, but it had a spiffy cover. I think they even paid money for it. It came to mind during a quick, Freudian thought process of memory and id. I began thinking about searching for the right job, which I am currently doing. This led to thinking about impressions, and how what we see as an extension of ourselves is often perceived as mere ego. Here's what I mean...
One of the authors wrote poetry that was simplistic and very heartfelt. You could tell this immediately because he thought enough about how he felt to commit to paper, and then subsequently publish it. Most of us (his friends) thought that it was cute, but not bearing multiple reads or interpretation. At the same time, another friend was putting togther a very different work. Purposefully obtuse and obscene (our dean of student life would later call it pornographic), it seemed to be cry for attention that was not very difficult to decipher. After all, the mere shock value of it made him at once seem to be a rebel, an intellectual, and the kind of emotional train wreck that always attracts a certain amount of attention from the opposite sex. It was also nonsensical and borderline Jaberwocky-esque, which to me made it more laughable than serious art.
I'm not sure if what he was trying to create was genuine, or if it was a construct to garner attention. At the time this would have been easily answered. But now, I'm not so sure. This has all left me wondering if others have the same image of me that I do. I understand that they are rarely the same for any of us. Certainly this would-be poet didn't see himself and his work as I saw them. And when you are looking for employment, especially in a job where interpersonal communication decides much of your success, you tend to think about how people really see you. I'm glad that I don't make the snap judgments that I made ten years ago. I'm not too cool for school anymore. In fact, I'm barely cool at all! God has taught me that there is always more than you assume there is, and that it is in this area of "more" where you find a lot of patience to not be so judgmental. When I think of those poetry books now, I almost wish I would have thanked them for giving me two books of poetry that are memoirs of good friends. And it makes me look forward to the good friends to come.

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