Animating Dead Skin
2 minute read – myth of freelancing / having a thousand desires / animating dead skin
I’m laying on my back looking up at the specks of dust in a beam of light. They move in harmony with patches of clouds behind the window.
I’m looking for shapes and scenes within dust. Changing my lens to micro, I see a napping fox nestled in itself, floating on. Another looks like the number 3. It must be lighter in weight as it’s turning and twisting at a maddening pace. A human figure slowly falls. Mad Men’s intro music plays in my head.
Most look like dots, or stars, depending on one’s mood. It’s a simpler one that I focus my eyes on. It might be the tiniest particle, right at the threshold of my perception. I watch it for a few minutes as it zigzags its way from one end of the room to another, propelled by an invisible force. Halfway through I lose sight of it.
How a keen eye, light, and air can bring to life what’s mostly dead skin cells. Perhaps those of mine, my guests and neighbors are dancing together.
Freelancers will brag about how sweet it is to be their own boss. Yet any successful freelancer working on multiple projects at a time will have many clients to answer to, which are bosses in disguise.
On top of that, being a good liberated modern being, I have a thousand desires. And having a thousand desires is like having a thousand bosses.
But what do I mean by a desire = a boss?
Fantasizing about treating myself to a nice pair of sunglasses after work, it suddenly hit me that the desire for the sunglasses was an extension of my work. I’ve worked hard to prove my value to my employer who provides me with a reward, then I turn around and give that reward to another boss, let’s call it Nike, Apple, or Starbucks. So all along I was working for that desire, not myself.
Satisfying one’s desires isn’t self-love. Anyone who thought otherwise found it to be an endless pursuit. It indicates an aversion to the current self and an obligation to the version of self who buys the cool sunglasses. Any desire is like a contract we make with ourselves “I won’t be happy until I get X”.
As moderns, we’re attempting to satisfy many desires, which are bosses in disguise.
A healthy person has many wishes. A sick person has only one.
– Indian proverb
Of course I wouldn’t want to go back to having a serious back injury but I miss the perspective and focus i had when injured. It made clear what is disposable and what is essential.