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Karma Cleanser - May 14 2008

Embellishments on resume wreck artist's way

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I did a favor for my girlfriend, and doing that favor has caused us both to suffer the consequences. She's a painter and is still working on her bachelor's degree. I'm a graphic artist and an aspiring songwriter. When I met her she was about to drop out of school due to lack of financial aid. We hit it off immediately and I knew I had to help her stay in school. I started calling people I had worked with in the past to try and find her a creative job, but her lack of experience was always a deal-breaker.

So I decided to embellish. I sat down with her résumé and made her look a lot more qualified than she actually was. On the next interview, she got the job on the spot. She's now worked there for six months and the bosses really love her work. Having the job has allowed her to stay in school.

Unfortunately, the past few months have also been a real wobbly period for her artwork. She feels like she's got writer's block on the canvas and that nothing she creates has any energy to it. I've been going through a similar drought with my songwriting. I think I created this problem. My lying to help her get a job seems to have fucked everything up for both of us. The relationship is going great otherwise. I believe she's my soul mate, but it seems like I've brought bad luck on both of us.

– The Wise Fool

In the eleventh verse of the Tao Te Ching, Lao-tzu writes, "Clay is molded into a vessel; Because of the hollow we may use the cup." In other words, there's value in emptiness. To snap out of your mutual creative drought, you should both meditate on how your recent fallow period has actually been a blessing in disguise. Not having to write songs or paint pictures has freed you both up to discover each other, which sounds like a good thing. Says Lao-tzu, "The usefulness of what is depends on what is not."

Dear Karma Cleanser:

(In response to "Lady Marmalade," April 30) I was just reading the column about the girl with the Brazilian and his mom living with her. You wrote, "We're not saying you should let Ray and his madre live rent-free in your apartment." But "madre" is a Spanish wo rd, and Portuguese is the language of Brazil. The actual word there is "mãe." Even though it was a joke, it felt just a little disrespectful.

– Babel Fisher

Perdão! (We're hoping that is Portuguese for, "Good catch, Babel Fisher. Please pardon our blunder and do keep reading the column every week.")

Been bad? karmacleanser@gmail.com.



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