Thursday, July 27, 2006

My Tragic Flaw.....

I remember the very moment that I knew that I was an artist. I was sitting in Ms. Dwyer's AP English class at Seton Catholic Central High School. I had stayed up late the night before, reading Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" in one sitting, and my head was still spinning from it. At the time, I was doing drawings of the Susquehanna & Chenango rivers at night, with their illuminated bridges and streetlights. In the novel, there is a pivotal scene involving the protagonist and the effect of streetlights, and I remember being transfixed by the similarities of feeling that I shared with Stephen Daedalus. (May have to pull it off the shelf for a reread, it has been 20 years...). The following day, the enchantment continued when Ms. Dwyer gave a lecture on "artistic temperament": it was there that I received my long-awaited diagnosis, and my fate was sealed.

Ms. Dwyer was my hero back when I was 18: she was a "Ms.", rumor had it that she lived with her boyfriend, being perpetually engaged rather than being married (a state I would mimic later in my life), and she was smart, articulate, and funny. I enjoyed Lit class, and absorbed many profound insights that I reference to this day. One of my favorites is the concept of a tragic flaw. When I met my future husband, I asked him what his tragic flaw was on our first date. He was not scared off, and, although it was the perfect opportunity to give an interview-type response, his answer was forthright.

MY tragic flaw is grossly underestimating the amount of time that it takes for me to finish any given task. My notebook for today contained a list of to-dos: Ruth Chenven Foundation Grant, Fiberarts Magazine Sampling submission, prep Crying Men for Fed Ex shipping, Hair Embroidery, and work on Master Contact List. Only the first two were ultimately crossed off the list. My husband is partly to blame, as we had an early dinner, then he dragged me off on a school night to see Mem Shannon and the Membership at the Blue Bayou. They put cajun spice on the fresh popcorn, it tastes great with the beer. They have free Wi-Fi there, but I don't think I would have made much progress on the Master Contact list even if I had brought my laptop, which is a big nod to Mem.

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