296. Career 

About feeling conflicted about your day job… 

Butterfly, my precious soul, 

Creative wisp of joy,

I carry you, so delicate, 

Deployed, I fall in love once more,

Yet, I’m festooned, 

With trinkets,

Birthed from rather different ends, 

I’m safe for all the casharoo,

I make playing pretend.

My butterfly is locked from sight,

To spread wings, dusk or dawn, 

That’s when it might be free once more, 

I’m nine to five, I’m whored.

(Photo – Eli Woodbine, Toronto, 2016) 


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Very well expressed. The 9-5 thing is a nightmare, a drain on creativity, and often a cause of premature death. I would rather have less money and be free of laborious routine. Okay, living in an author/musician household, we don’t go on holidays and our home has quite a few things that need fixing, but so what?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. eliwoodbine says:

      It’s quite a struggle in that I have many conflicting goals in life, but at the heart of it are two:

      – ongoing safety, as I haven’t always been safe in the past.

      – a return to nature. As my soul is happiest in this clime.

      So.. It’s a tough balance.

      Safety has me being a Director at an advertising firm, which is good money for a 26 year old.

      Yet I feel perpetually called by wild.

      With the grass always greener, I suppose we must simply learn to be grateful for what we have. Whatever that may be.

      This is the premise of my book. How my darkest hours taught me to be grateful – with time.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess if you’re a Director, you have quite a decent amount of say in things, which is better than being at a level where you have to take orders from other people all the time. And it sounds as if you can afford to take holidays into the wild, maybe even be in a position to buy yourself a log cabin in the middle of nowhere as a weekend retreat one day soon. It’s brilliant to have got so far in a career at such a young age. It’s just avoiding burnout as the years go on, which is less likely if you have achieved balance.
        Working in advertising should give you the know-how to market your own book, which is the hardest part of the process. In some ways, it’s far harder than the writing and potentially far more soul-destroying.
        You sound as if you’re on the right track, with meaningful aspirations, which is good.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. eliwoodbine says:

        This is a really lovely message and really useful in reminding me of things I should be more grateful for. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

        I work extremely hard, so completely agree that burnout is a potential issue. I tend to have mini existential crises once once a month but thats more because I’m never fully sure if I’m doing the right thing.

        As for the book I just finished the first draft of… This is the first thing I’ve done in quite a while that I haven’t doubted for one minute. Much like when I used to tour as an artist and write music.

        Marketing is hard, but then as long you have something valuable it expedites the process of finding your audience.

        Once again, many thanks for the kind words. They were needed today.


        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m so glad, Eli, that my words spoke to you the other day. And well done, finishing your first draft. Are you going to get straight on with editing it or leave it to marinade for a while first? I usually do the latter, to put a distance between myself and my work, so I come back to it with fresh eyes and brandishing my literary pruning shears.
        I’ve never toured as a musician, but I did once write a musical and went on to produce two live performances of it. It was exhausting, but worth it. The performers still talk about it ten years later. It was a wonderful bonding experience between people who’ve stayed friends ever since. Also, I used to do song recitals, but my voice is not in a good mood just now and has lost its upper range, or maybe I should be more positive and say that it has gained a lower range!
        I hope you have a wonderful, productive week.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. eliwoodbine says:

        Your words most certainly resonated. It’s so lovely to meet likeminded people.

        I have plonked my book aside (it’s hard) and am letting my partner do a sweep through for grammatical errors (of which I’m sure there are many).. Will likely take another look in about a month or so when it’s been pruned. Will probably want to rewrite most of it at that point – knowing me.

        I’m keeping myself busy though. Started on a new book. It’s an exploration of the meaning of life once we are too old to remember our lives. Will see where this goes.

        I would LOVE to write a musical. That’s such an amazing accomplishment. Congratulations on making it real too.

        Never give up singing, even if for fun. I don’t really sing anymore apart from for fun and rare trips to the studio. But it’s still a beautiful part of my life.

        I hope you have a wonderful week too.


        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’ve noticed that some old people start to recall the early part of their lives in vivid detail (although they sometimes airbrush out the uncomfortable truths, especially the bits that make them look bad!). At the same time, they start to forget the middle part of their lives, and compensate by confabulating. It’s an interesting subject, although the older I get, the less happy I am when my memory fails me, even for a second. You are lucky to be so young. Enjoy 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. eliwoodbine says:

        Indeed I am, that’s good advice.

        That’s also very true. I need to be careful to make this project as true to life as is possible. I just want to explore what it would be like not to really know what’s come before. Is that ultimately liberating or instead just hard to bare.

        Thanks for your thoughts,



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