Enemy of the Good

Fill in the blank.

  1. At work these days, I'm having a lot of conversations where phrases/ideas of 'being flexible' and 'responsive' and 'not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good' come up. Meanwhile, I've also been putting together projected budgets for the next couple fiscal years, all based on various re-configurations of our office's current digital portfolio &/or tech support strategies. (Read: making spreadsheets of 'if we use x, y, and z tools, then we'll need staff who can do p, q and w things, which means d, e, and f kinds of salary & personnel pressures...') Which means quite awkward and blunt (but ultimately good) conversations about my position and salary with the leaders at my organization.

                   I've also been putting together my own plan for professional development & certification, in order to help move forward a few projects and also to make sure that I'm keeping up my investment in my own current & future skills, resiliency & happiness. As a part of all that, I've been drafting posts for a tech-centered blog, and struggling to balance my desire to share the skills & resources I've gained during my time of doing this work, and the fact that I'm afraid the blog feels...well...'know-it-all-ish'. 

                          So when I saw the cover for the current issue of The Atlantic, talking about women & 'The Confidence Gap', I thought: Is this me? 
  2. And I thought of the past few weeks of my professional life & my personal-professional (i.e. poetry/making-things-related) life, conversations with my bosses (both strong women) and friends. Trying to post semi-regularly to my blog (and not cave in to the desire to obsessively check the analytics & weep when certain posts only get read by my completely awesome mom), keep plugging away at reading & research for new bodies of work & on-going projects, as well as send out submissions in the way I've found sustainable & not nauseating (read: a few, not very often). 

    And not completely freak out when try to make a projected budget for myself & look at what's happening (or, rather, NOT happening) in my bank account. 

    How, within the context of all this, my own righteous indignation has helped convince me post things like this:
  3. Or, more mildly, this:
  4.                                            And how I'm still dealing with my own sense of 'fault' or 'guilt' over the first exchange, struggling to be comfortable with/own my right to speak from anger & urgency and, yes, to own the aftermath of speaking from a less-than-perfect perspective. And contrasting the power of the first post with the second (much safer) post, which probably didn't even make people pause their casual newsfeed scroll.
  5. It's pretty obvious Depeche Mode is addressing infidelity (even without the helpful vignettes in the video), but I've been hearing this song differently in the past few weeks, as I think about making mistakes or being a bossy-bitchy-know-it-all:
  6. Depeche Mode - Policy Of Truth (Video)
  7.    And I'm thinking of another friend/acquaintance, who very recently posted a brave & intelligent piece about sexism and poetry readings/events—and, even more importantly and astutely, about the consequences/impact of sexist dynamics & thought on aesthetics and intellectual/artistic risk. And how, in a face-meltingly infuriating & disappointing move, the venue hosting/publishing/F*ING SOLICITING women to submit their stories & share these kinds of experiences decided to remove the content rather than use a goddamn skill or two and facilitate the conversation(s) sparked by the piece. 
  8.  And, what's more, how the editors/curators of the venue removed the content without comment. As if people hadn't read it & left comments & shared it & begun reacting to it. As if those of us that found the piece resonating and speaking our truth should SHUT THE F* UP, BECAUSE WE ARE WRONG. And wrong women should be silenced. Y'know, as we learn over:
  9. and over:
  10. and over:
  11.        I'm new in my current city, and I think this encourages a false amplification of every action. I've got time for contemplating my navel—actual or digital. So I've been working to keep myself mindful of & grateful for the exchanges I've been having with friends & mentors via email, chat, phone & text. Silly and serious and beautiful and practical. 
    And I'm trying to do a better job of saying thank you to the members of my far-flung & wonderful community. And to lighten the f* up when it comes to...well...my own sense of self-importance, but also the impending sense of doom or judgement I feel lingering in the ether, when ever I post something vaguely rant-scented. 

    I'm thinking of yet another friend/acquaintance/poet, who is vocal & active & focused on anti-fracking issues. And how I am never, ever annoyed by her posts about what she's passionate about. So why can't I extend the same positive attitude towards the channels that I'm intentionally making & maintaining in order to give voice/witness to and explore my own damn purposes?

    I want to leave off with a piece by Brian Teare I re-visited this morning. A poet whose intellect, humanity & work I continue to admire and feel I am made larger by: 
Read next page