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edie kahula pereira
edie kahula pereira • 3 years ago

anne carmack from folk and fable... religion and art... Once, after asking an acquaintance on maternity leave how she was doing she explained that labor was awful and that her first few weeks at home with her newborn had been hell. She went on to explain that no one ever told her how hard it would be, how sometimes she felt like she was losing her mind, or worse yet, didn't really like being a mom as much as she once thought she would. I appreciated her candid honesty, told her she should write a book and spread the word and immediately reminded myself to follow the directions on my birth control pack to the letter. Same. Time. Everyday. Perhaps I should consider setting some sort of alarm? This is how I feel about money. About the conversations we have with our fellow creatives about money. About the things we read about money and say about money and dream about money. As working artists it is an inevitable fact that we will end up spending a lot of our time seeking the encouraging endorsements of others. Sure, in a time of facebook fan pages and etsy shops it's easier to build up your own business and sell your work directly to the masses in lieu of some world renowned representative doing all of this stuff for you while pocketing a huge percentage of your profits...but somewhere along the line money still needs to change hands. That much remains the same. "Do What You Love And the Money Will Follow." Okay, I'll bite. Really? All the time? Is this a guarantee? Because I would bet my bottom dollar (no pun intended) that there are lots of crazy creditors out there who don't agree. I have read all sorts of books about the mythological meaning of money. Trust me, I've done my research on the topic because God Forbid, there is some sort of supernatural psychosis standing in the way of me and my rent being paid. I've rearranged my bagua map and prayed to St.Jude. The tarot cards have told me YES and so did the intuitive shaman who read my mind and changed my life. I've done "the work" - both kinds...the concrete and unconscious. I am the work I do, it isn't love I do this for... it's something else entirely...something big and indescribable..."a calling" perhaps, something real that those of us who understand this post were really born to do. I've noticed a trend among successful artists/authors etc...a need to let the rest of us know that no, nothing really changes when you are published/discovered/produced. You're still the same strange bean you were before you got "the call". Being published won't help you get over that high school dance where all the mean girls tricked you into thinking so and so wanted to french kiss out back behind the locker room, you still hate your dad or your husband or the way your thighs touch when you walk. We get it. We do. And we appreciate your desire to let us know that it ain't all it's cracked up to be. However, should I sell my short story to a journal that pays or my script to a production company with a budget to burn...I won't be running to the mailbox everyday looking for some sort of magic cure sent quick to make me feel like I am better than I used to be before I finally "made it". I'll just be a looking for a check. And I will pay some people back and tell Jeremy that he doesn't have to work so hard 6 nights a week, that he can come to bed early and get some much needed rest. I'll start a fund for my imaginary kid and their imaginary ivy league education. I'll hand some over to the non-profits that have given so much to me. I'll get my teeth cleaned and I'll take care of myself and my car and get my oil changed right on time. I'll invest in making more art and telling more stories. Send me a check and I'll do all the right kinds of things. I promise. I am ready. When Bill Gates sat down with his friends in 1976 and said out loud "So I think I have a pretty good idea..." you can bet that he had money (among other things) on that brilliant mind of his. His crazy computer and code writing skills were worth something and he knew it. They mattered, why wouldn't he get paid? He was constantly creating a better product than his competitors and that course of action paid off. Herein lies the conflict of creative spirits everywhere. We love to say we are all above competing with one another...but don't we? Doesn't it only make sense that if my story is better than the story before it mine will be published and praised? And as a visual artist I can tell you this for certain: MY BEST PAINTINGS SELL. My lazy paintings don't. End of story. So why is it that it's frowned upon to be competitive in the arts when it's par for the course in business? In every other industry in the world those high school principles of economics rule the roost. What makes art so different? Many years ago when I was starting out I believed in different things. I believed that living like this would save me from the conventional life I was so desperate to escape. I believed that I wouldn't be one of those drones wasting time making money, that I was different...special...and would somehow be able to survive on the passion of painting alone. Not so. It wasn't passion that paid my bills it was my parents. And then my boyfriends. And then, sometimes, my friends. In one week I will be 35 and I have money on my mind. Woody Allen said it best: Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. The last link in the chain I've been been unraveling is very simple: things have got to change. There's a thin line between me and waiting tables* again and I'm telling you I am not going back. So this, my first shaky step in the direction of clearing the air, of opening myself up to the possibility of the truth as I currently see it: I am broke and I am terrified. There's got to be another way. Legend has it that there is always a trace of our spirit in the tracks we leave behind. Looking back I see I have been on this road for quite a while now and I am much lighter than when I set out. There is room in my head where new ideas can grow and I have stumbled upon the recent realization that the only childish belief that remains is the one that says wanting to earn money is wrong or unenlightened or the one ugly thing that stands in the way of my eventual success. I wANT because I should. Because I'm worthy and deserving and talented and true. And just like you and you and you and you, I should be paid for it. Like meditation or prayer or black magic...the real voodoo of this process is found inside the endless promise of the ritual. There is a payoff in the repetition of things. I have earned healing and help, hope and bravery. An endless supply of real power and ultimately, the most important thing: peace. And now I would like to earn lots of money.

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