Jeremy J. Jones – Stranded in Thought

May 25, 2009

The Zero With A Thousand Options

Filed under: Miscellaneous,Thoughts — Jeremy @ 9:23 pm

I recently heard a fellow student say that for her, art is religion in a way. She went on to provide information about Joseph Cambell’s “The Hero With A Thousand Faces” and how an artist can get lost in his or her craft. Furthermore, she talked about “transition,” as it related to a person’s isolation from his or her original society. (This was an Anthropology class.)

I am currently in a self-imposed transition. I joined the U.S. Navy after high school, served six years, and separated honorably. I’ve since worked three jobs, and ten years after leaving the Navy decided to go to school to study fiction and become a writer, which was what I wanted to be at twelve years old. I have finished my A.S. in Liberal Arts, and the graduation ceremony is in a week.

For personal reasons, earlier this spring my wife and I decided to relocate from Southington, Connecticut to Cranston, Rhode Island, to be closer to her family. I informed my boss three weeks ago that I would be moving, but that I didn’t want to quit my job. He agreed to keep me, and we ironed out some details. He then spoke to the company president, who agreed to retain me. That was two weeks ago.

This past week, I learned that the company had “changed its mind.” On the contrary, I think they knew all along that they would fire me and they merely lied to me. But that’s another essay. The point is that unless I can find another job, at the end of July I will be unemployed.

In the fall I will be at Rhode Island College as an English major. That’s very exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.

My friend said that she feels that she feels “art coming from some source other than [herself].” I know what she means. My best stories come to me when I really lose myself in a scene or a character. If I am thinking too much, the writing becomes academic at best. But when I am in the head of the character, which requires that I understand the character intimately, the appropriate words just flow out of me, and then I read it back, often stunned.

Having gone back to study the humanities, after having spent about ten years in technical math and engineering study, and then about seven in sales and marketing, my mind has opened to new things. As a writer, I’ve become a student of the universe; as a result, I’ve seen amazing things that I would have otherwise ignored. Ironically, the information I’ve learned in the humanities are those things I spent my early-teen years pondering, outside atop the hill under the Douglas firs at my father’s house in Oregon, gazing down upon the Willamette River Valley three thousand miles from here. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to study them in high school, and I spent more than twenty years lost and drifting. I’ve now found myself, and I know where I am going. That is the greatest religion anyone can get, and any way we achieve it, it is the power that drives us forward.

Find your religion. You will be happier for it.

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7 Comments »

  1. Sorry to hear about the job situation, Jeremy.

    Comment by steve — May 25, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

  2. Thanks, Steve. It will work out.

    Comment by Jeremy — May 26, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

  3. Why are you surprised? Everyone looks out for his own interest. A company owner looks out for his company. He could care less for his employees.

    Comment by Merriweather — May 31, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

  4. That’s true. Fortunately, I am now the proud owner of one Associate’s degree. It’s not my final goal, and is not the end-all be-all, but it will help me better gain control of these situations, so I am not at the mercy of companies, but they are at mine.

    Comment by Jeremy — May 31, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

  5. Best of luck in whatever you do next Jeremy.

    Comment by KC — June 5, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

  6. Never fear. I don’t. I am too awesome to fail. For long.

    Comment by Jeremy — June 6, 2009 @ 1:13 am

  7. One door closes, another opens, Jeremy, and I wish you luck.

    Speaking of doors, into consciousness, like your friend, I too experience : ‘“art coming from some source other than [herself].”’

    I believe that the capacity we have for storytelling (whether through visual arts, writing, or other, including, oral, sources) comes from within us, in both conscious and unconscious ways. One of these, I learnt after some years of natural attendance, is stream-of-consciousness. This is somethings precious which comes wholly from within us, and can be the zenith of our creative output.

    The other creates a bridge between our conscious selves, our souls, with something outside ourselves, and yet through us, and our minds, our eyes, our hands, our voices transcribe these gifts. Then our art is more than us, of us, and through us. One’s sense of vocation is perhaps no more apparent than during these times. Sometimes we know who is speaking through us. Other times….

    I’ve had some extraordinary writing experiences, for which I am grateful, and these few thoughts here are really the tip of the cheeseburger here.

    It is easy to agree when you say, ‘I know what she means. My best stories come to me when I really lose myself in a scene or a character.’

    We are all telling a story, or sharing a story. Why these stories choose us to share them can be a beautiful half-mystery.

    Comment by aroomofheroine — August 24, 2010 @ 10:26 am


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