Contentment versus Glory

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they choose contentment over glory. Chefs, in particular learn this very early in life. We discover that we don’t actually have to work 20 hours a day to earn a living, and that it is kind of counter-productive for your health. Therefore we take lower level jobs, and work fewer hours for more money as there is better profit in lower level food.

Today’s blind fury with Wolfe, for no really good reason other than I thoroughly enjoyed being furious with his apparent contentment. was extremely productive. (I think that blog post was probably written 2 years ago, so it may be rather out-of-date, but never mind.)

I have no real wish to rain on his parade, nor the opportunity given that I have been here for years taking care of my mother. I just missed getting annoyed with him I think. It is very odd that a person who irritates me intensely, and that I have had so little interaction with, makes me feel more alive than some of the people who were actually in my life in the even more distant past.

This begs the question of why I would actively crave discontent for me, and more importantly attempt to inspire it in him. I see discontent as being strongly linked to achievement, in terms of striving for future contentment. This is very Western, this idea that happiness is something to be pursued but not gained.

I find it hard to forgive Wolfe for not wanting to achieve more, and yet I daresay he feels he has done enough. I have attacked him on a similar basis several times over the years. I am not sure how much sense it makes from the other side, probably none at all.

My mother used to say it was the irritation that kept my father alive, so perhaps, having had two parents with radically opposing political ideas, I identify argument as affection. Certainly I find calling Wolfe an asshole more affectionate than his syrupy assertions about happy relationships. Whether this is personal psychology, or an expression of how driven I feel on his behalf, I do not know. What seems to have been a brief and insignificant period for him, has been absolutely devastating for me.

When I first made contact with him, it was with a view to simply handing him my work when it was finished, having established a direction he was happy with. My life is kind of over, since I took on care of my parents and this house. I no longer tolerate people terribly well, so, I reasoned, why not pour it all into him. I rather like the idea of doing something spectacular for the world in a slightly self-serving way, and Wolfe has demonstrated a capacity for this.

Having been brought up with a particular interest in public speaking and natural health, it appeared to make a peculiar kind of sense to do this work. The emotional string-pulling just happened kind of by accident, and then when I became despondent, fiction made more sense than trying to produce something more solid alongside the inevitable artwork. I am glad at least part of the mystery has been solved, although I am not so glad that I could not help being stuck behind a non communicative block in terms of actually getting on with the work. I can only blame my crippling self-doubt. It certainly isn’t directly Wolfe’s fault, although some communication and a modicum of actual respect would have speeded things up enormously.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter now. Apparently I would be faster to come out of my shell than await Wolfe smelling the fucking coffee in terms of work. It comes back to my usual ponderings on economics. The basic economic problem is not scarcity. It is satiety. Wolfe is sated, apparently, and his knife is somewhat blunted by contentment. Therefore the raw material is not nearly as appealing.

I am not in a hurry to become content if it means that I become similarly blunt. I am a spiky character, and I plan to remain spiky for as long as possible. I miss the slightly tortured Wolfe. Perhaps he no longer exists. I’m sort of weirdly glad I bumped into him then, even though he has been a royal pain in the ass. I did so enjoy sticking pins into him. It made me very happy.

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