Jeff mentioned narcissism in a comment on the previous post, and I was going to say more about that . . . along the lines of how it occurred to me just yesterday that while I've never wanted to be rich (just solvent), I think I've always wanted to be famous, though I can't think why. But . . . that's really all I have to say about it, at least right now. I could be verbally self-bludgeoning about the pride inherent in this, but it would probably only amount to another skewed demonstration of narcissism--which I'm too proud to indulge in right now. (Huh?)
So instead, I've decided to pose a question to you which came to me from Barry's comment on the same post. Barry said, "Achieving publication . . . is inarguably a vindicating sign. It is an evidence, at least, of gifting and skill, if not calling."
To which I retorted, "If it's a gifting, is it possible for it NOT in some way to be a calling?" (You can check this dialogue out below if you don't believe me.)
But then I started thinking about this, and I got about as dizzy as I just did above with the narcissism thing, so I thought I'd pose the question more broadly. Well--is it?
I mean, I used to have some skill with the flute. And some time around the turn of the year I decided I needed to re-hone this skill, but that little endeavour got sort of mowed down by Christmas and New Year's--or at least, that's my excuse. I'm aware I'm making an excuse about it, and I feel badly about it in the sense that I'm not sure I can successfully play "Syrinx" anymore, but I don't feel guilty about it in the sense of burying a gift in the ground. Whereas, with writing, I've had to journal since I was 13 or I would have exploded, but I don't feel that way about writing for the public. (Well, except for wanting to be famous enough so that everyone would want to read my--very boring, samey--journals after I died, of course.) However, I have spent a vast proportion of my not-so-vast life feeling somewhat under a cloud about the writing thing--as if I were squandering something by not spending it. But is a slight emotional malaise about something the same thing as a calling?
Is there a difference between a gift and a skill? And if there is, how do you know? And if something's a gift, does that instantly make it part of one's calling? And if it doesn't, why not?