Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Actually, Winning isn't Everything

Competition.  Many things speak to me these days about this culture of Me First, Me Win . . . so I assume it is an area of my perception I am opening to, uncovering the competitiveness of my own conditioned mind, which was largely unconscious for most of my life.  Women compete in shoes, their kids' accomplishments, their baking, on and on.  I've heard that men just can't stand to have an older car than their brother-in-law, but men are upfront about being competitive.

How it applies to Mimi Me just now?  I am in gear to apply for a local arts grant.  This grant is, of course, competitive, not just a lightning streak from the sky like every artist would like.  But you don't know how to pour effort into it.  You have no idea who the judges will be, and they've had some people whose judgement I personally did not respect after listening to them at the panel hearing.  It's always been three of them, say a slam poet with a high school education, a creative writing teacher/published poet, an academic teacher and critic.  (I need to remember to put in a certain poem I have that is spoken in a dub rhythm; a slam poet might like it.)  

Half my friends want to win this, since, I am happy to say, I hang around with a bad crowd.  We hate it. We sweat our entry and walk it in at the last minute.  Months later we crowd into the panel hearings and hear our work judged 1-1-1, "not competitive."  Ow!  It ruins your day.  At least one day.

And competition goes against my own appreciation of a life that is non-famous, humble, not striving, you know.  Wun slowly gets better this way with age and practice, not cleaning for company so much.  Because what you get to see as you gain awareness is that nothing external will make you happy.  One year I won one of these, got a letter, and I remember clearly that the joy lasted about an hour.  You can't go around in ecstasy.  Actually, that relates to the subject of my last post, enlightenment. 

Anyway, deadline coming, so I will sign off, and might post less until September.  (Did I say the grant involves a handsome amount of money?  That's another story.)  You can subscribe by e-mail over on the right if you want to know when I come out of it.

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