birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Walking Dogs + Collecting Lint = Success

As a graduate student in an MFA program, I had the desire to work with a successful contemporary artist. This artist works in abstraction, occasionally sculpture and video, and he works [to] investigate physical and psychological spaces. I love this work.

I found out this artist was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion about success in the art world at a local gallery and I made sure to attend. After the panel discussion, I approached the artist, telling him I'd love to intern for him and slipped him my number on the back of a sticker I had made. He never called.

I'd see the artist around town and would experience a range of emotions that spanned hope, disappointment, frustration and desperation as I wondered why he hadn't contacted me.

About a year or so later, I find myself pouring wine at an art gallery opening - a last minute favor - and the artist I was so desperate to meet walks in. I am in shock! Something takes over my mouth and I blurt out the artist's name, "Mark!" I walk over to him, poke him in the ribs and jokingly chastise him for not calling me. He laughs, we talk and after some time he goes in to see the exhibition. When he comes out, I pull out a business card from my bra (I had found one someone had left behind and wrote my information on the backside of it), hand it to him and proclaim, "I will do anything you need to make you successful. I will walk your dogs, collect lint out of the air, whatever you need." He looks at me and says, "You birthed and raised a child, I think you're the type of woman who can get things done." Of course, I concurred.

A few days later I received a call from his assistant inviting me to the studio for an interview. I asked for an internship and was offered a paying job.

Counting My Blessings

Not Constantinople