culturemaking / privilege

The Resident

I have been Accepted for a Residency. A very special residency with special people in a country far, far away.

I’ve asked work if I can have the time off and work around it – I just started a new part-time position. So I’ll see how that goes. The residency is for three weeks, and is quite soon considering the arrangements that need to be made.

I applied for financial assistance from the Centre – host of said residency – at the same time as I applied for the residency. The Centre has advised that there might be some financial offset (from a mysterious third party who has apparently offered scholarships) available at a later date but they can’t advise me of that till later. So I should assume that I need to come up with the dosh.

The program fee which includes meals and accommodation is $1900.00. I should be able to get a flight for $1700.00 (or cheaper maybe if I hunt around). So let’s say I’ll need $3600.00.

If work lets me go I’ll start hitting up funding sources, but I don’t think that will be fruiftul due to short turnaround (grants for travel in 2011 closed last year in many cases). My harder-working friends and relatives have offered loans which, as I have already planned a long-awaited holiday with Dave for September, could not be paid back super-quick.

It is wonderfully marvellous to be Accepted in such a way and for such a thing. But I’m still feeling ambivalent. On the weekend I thought this might be because I was hiding my light under a bushel (thanks, Sunday School!), with its attendant shame and laziness. Prior to this I just felt nauseous at the careerism of it all, being as I am subject to vomiting whenever I hear the word OPPORTUNITY. But I think the ambivalence comes more from economy than timidity. I did not want to choose the nourishment of practice over relationship. And, if I am able to be loaned the money, I’m potentially getting myself into debt that I can’t pay back and will feel complicated about for a long time. Is it really worth that?

What’s the worth of such a thing if there is not enough time to raise the money, or if there is the expectation that one has a few grand at the ready, not to mention a workplace that will let you take 3 weeks off and still keep your job?

Today I’m contemplating talent and privilege, generosity and abundance.

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One thought on “The Resident

  1. Pingback: The writer-not-in-residence « Flat 7

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