In Search of a Patron

Image: Public Domain. From Wikipedia: “The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo) was a 1632 Italian language book by Galileo Galilei comparing the Copernican system with the traditional Ptolemaic system. It was translated into Latin as Systema cosmicum (English: Cosmic System) in 1635 by Matthias Bernegger. The book, which was dedicated to Galileo’s patron, Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and delivered to him on February 22, 1632, was a bestseller.”

I haven’t spent my time becoming an expert in one or two things, so I can’t write symphonies or perform surgeries or tell you what kind of underclothes 8th Century Persians wore (though that last one I can probably look up). But I’m decently proficient at a lot of things.

I can write. I can edit. I can sew. I can crochet. I can type like the wind. I can plan a trip like nobody’s business. I can teach people things. I can make fudge. I can build furniture. I can operate a big, company-sized photocopier. I can research topics with my superior Google-fu. I can follow directions. I can choose friends wisely. I can nurture relationships. I can be very diplomatic in my conversation and mediation. I can remember weird facts, but not always the ones I’m trying to remember. And I’m damned good at critical analysis of a situation.

It used to be that for people who were very good at one or two things, they might be able to get a rich patron to support them in exchange for regular painting, or woodworking, or poetry. I’d love to get a patron who could make use of my extremely varied but proficient talents.

I have no hope of this happening, because the patronage system just isn’t really a thing anymore, and even when it was, you really had to be the best at what you did. And also, they didn’t have General Patrons. People aren’t going to send me money in exchange for being on call to crochet a hat, or give them advice on friendships, or show them the best way to make use of their time on vacation.

But if I’m wrong, and anyone out there wants to pay me to be awesome (part-time is just fine), give me a holler.

About Jenny Williams

I'm just me.
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3 Responses to In Search of a Patron

  1. Laura says:

    Ahh, a patron. Yes. My hankering for a patron has become more acute after reading Patrick Rothfuss’s Name of the Wind.

  2. zooey says:

    Yes, patrons in Name of the Wind are pretty cool. I think the closest we get today are grants.

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