Here is an untitled subject: the things I never was, nor ever will be, they are two vocations I would have liked to have practiced had I not been what I am, which is a deeply solitary thing-that-I-now-am and thing-that-I-was. The first fantasy vocation corresponds to the thing that I was (in the first half of my life), which was a poet, and the second to the thing that I am (in the second half) (those measurements are entirely accurate), which is a painter. I wanted very much in my former life as a poet to be a parish priest. My job would have had to have been in the English countryside, I was an Anglican, for this to have worked for me, I did not want to be a parish priest in, say, Ohio. I wanted my church to be made of stone dating back to the middle ages, maybe even with a foundation dating back to Roman times. Maybe the church was on the site of an ancient henge! Of course the bones of our ancestors went down very very very deep, and they were my ancestors too, none of this across-the-ocean who-knows-where-they-are shit. My house would have had low ceilings and little rooms, and it was just a little walk from house to church, I could have carried my coffee with me in the morning as I traipsed across the dewy grass. (I was never clear exactly what gender I was in this fantasy.) Poetry is a holy and sacred undertaking. It is twin to Godliness (the job), despite the vulgarity and base earthiness of its practitioners. Poets are priests of sorts. It was natural that I would want to be a parish priest! I would write sermons, they would be poetic, I would preach them, people would listen! I could counsel the troubled! I'd have polite teas in the afternoons with my parishioners! I would make sense of death for them! All the many rituals would be in service to the same thing I was already in service to, with my private rituals: the ineffable, the eternal, the music of the spheres, the story of life and life everlasting. I would also, incidentally, slyly reintroduce the Goddess to their worship, thereby doing my very small part to help heal the world, for without her, we will surely die in terrible ways, you can see how it is happening already. (For this reason, I would sometimes be accused of being a secret Papist. My argument would be: "I'm no Papist, but I might be a Marist.") Onto Job Two! Now I am a painter, I do not write poems anymore, it is not that I am against writing poetry, it is that poetry, strictly speaking, has left me, while painting has jammed its way into my life and merged with me in such a way that we are now indistinguishable from one another. I no longer dream of being a parish priest, beautiful as that dream was. Now my fantasy job is being a scientist in a lab. You can see how this is very much like being a painter, for painting is all about experimentation, using various materials and tools in various ways, in search of hoped-for or anticipated results that don't always come, while happy accidents will sometimes (most times) lead to even greater and more surprising results. I could go every day to a lab, in pursuit of an end I can't yet fully characterize! I could be driven by my curiosity, obsessed with finding what I can't yet find! I could live the life of the chase! I would get my coffee every morning in the lab itself. I would have people I worked with in the lab, we would all be obsessed and joined by our obsession, swimming every day in the waters of the ineffable, taking measure of the music of the spheres! And yet, it would be quiet, solitary work as well, a methodical and careful kind of work that sometimes had me silent all day long. But it would not be the lonely life of the painter, it would be a kind of guild, a guild of experimental scientists in pursuit of the glory of answers!