Kerouac quotes Allen Ginsberg….
“Enlightenment is neither to be considered a high
state nor a low state, everybody equally attains it, because everybody equally
knows, as Allen Ginsberg says, that ‘lightening strikes in the blue sky’ – see
everybody knows that!”
Confines can shape us or not… confines of our mind, physical confines, environmental, financial, health…a myriad of possibilities. Happily, I have spent wonderful hours in art studios over the course of many years and in various locations.…large spaces, small spaces, messy spaces, old spaces and outdoor spaces. One thing I have learned is that once the charcoal hits the paper or brush meets a canvas my environment fades away. Mentally I go to a place where time no longer exists; I may even question the existence of the world…very good mental space! What has more often driven creativity for me, in the various studio spaces I have employed, is the energy in the room or out in nature. I stopped by the DailyUV.com office yesterday to pick up my new blog business cards…love them! A first time for me, seeing the office and meeting the people I have chatted with only virtually. The space is amazing as the floor plan is open and unassuming. Magic often happens in this type of environment because it is driven by the energy of the people that occupy the space. There is something so thrilling about people working hard to build something new and exciting. Energy filled every air molecule and I could not help but get energized by each person I chatted with. Plus I got a new DailyUV tee shirt…love tee shirts but this one means something special to me…happy to be part of something exciting!
Before I closed my eyes last
night I read an article about “gig economics.” My brain reflected on the word “gig”
for quite some time and I woke up this morning wanting to learn more. Yes, I
know about the word “gigabyte” but I will save that exploration for a much more
technologically savvy writer. For me, a “gig” is a term used primarily by
musicians to describe a live performance. I believe the derivation of the term
dates back to the 1920’s by jazz musicians. In a much broader definition I
understand “gigging” means having paid work or being employed.
While researching “gig economics” and the origin of the word “gig” I happened upon a rather famous Jack Kerouac speech at New York's Hunter College Playhouse circa 1958. Kerouac certainly did not speak publicly often but on this occasion he did address “the Beat Generation.” Kerouac only went as far as accepting responsibility for originating this term, but declined to be the spokesperson for the Beat generation. Kind of like Bob Dylan who also doesn’t want to be “The Voice of His Generation.” Even though the word “gig” had been around for a number of years it usage expanded during Kerouac’s time. In 1952 Kerouac described his “gig” as a part-time brakeman for the Southern Pacific railroad in San Jose. “For the hipsters, calling a job a gig was a way of saying it didn't define you. A gig was a commitment you felt free to walk away from as soon as you had $50 in your pocket.”
A freelance economy is one in which workers support themselves through a number of part-time jobs that do not provide traditional benefits such as healthcare. “Gig economy” was coined during the height of our financial crisis in early 2009 when those experiencing unemployment worked several part time jobs wherever they could to make money aka “gigging” Previously a “gig” had a certain cache in reference to the work being more of a luxury than a necessity. Today, gigs include creative and inventive opportunities out of necessity… Uber drivers, running errands for others, house cleaning…endless part-time opportunities created and carried out by people with varied portfolios and a potpourri of job skills. I recently met someone who is a Forest Ranger by day and waits tables at night…love depth of knowledge and varied experiences! I have a “gig” with DailyUV!
Maybe “gig economics” emerged in reaction to our financial crisis just a few years back, but I wonder instead if this is not the preferred model initiated by the millennial generation? A generation that may have introduced a significant shift in how we approach a work / life balance. Has this generation watched their baby boomer parents work untold hours, climbing and striving while trying to provide for their families a certain lifestyle? Living to work or working to live? Maybe attractive employment opportunities aren’t as plentiful for this generation? Does this “gig economy” offer more job flexibility to a generation that wants to climb MT Kilimanjaro while younger where this boomer just imagined it through the words and pages of Hemingway…
After all…It’s Complicated!