I can tell you it feels like a ‘reset’ is necessary…all too often we don’t think about the brick wall until we have come to face. The path of Life is most often a maze where we only ‘think’ we know the end goal. All too often, we have made short wins - “let me get this one thing and I’ll be ____!” The path to ‘it’ seems clear, sometimes steps away and yet, even as we approach it, a barrier or what seems like a small distraction or minor occurrence finds us either off the path or completely blocked. We feel the tug of loss, the sense that satisfaction, a sense of exploration is limited.
Sometimes, the heights of one’s life doesn’t occur for a very long time. It’s like the heights of the stratosphere, the rare air that only birds and jet planes experience, some times what we can be remains unobtainable. But keep flying, keep trying.
At moments, I see the life I could have, the musician, strumming a jazz guitar with that rich wood sound. I see me as the consummate storyteller in prose and stories that render life in all its starts and layers and colors. I see me as a mentor, an instructor a teacher rendering life lessons, mending hearts…but…
Mastery of self, doing what’s best for self is the way to heal the world. That’s not “perfecting self” before others are helped; it isn’t selfishness to the degree you will not lend a hand to others ‘until’ you are better…sometimes ‘self-improvement’ involves others and your assisting.
For me, art is my home, my sanctuary; I am capable of writing, business, musicianship and even IT, but my heart is in art. All too often, my days are filled with the ‘needs of others,’ and at the end of the day there is hardly anything left for me. Sleep has to be my fuel, but to what end? Another day of ‘service’ to others? You see, I talk a good game, but it is a constant battle to leave something ‘in the tank,’ just for me.
Charles Mingus’ recording: “What Love” is playing in the background, setting the tone.
Just because you ‘ask’ doesn't mean you’re going to get what you asked for…but ask anyway.
I had time (translation: made time) to spend with my wife. Other than dinner together, grocery shopping and sitting together in church, we ‘let’ life happen and weeds grow in between us. Slow mornings, slower evenings, we have found time for one another, spent time just talking about ‘everything.’
There have been times (not out of these ‘woods’ yet) when I desperately pray, ‘believe’ and hope for a change. Not all selfish, often for someone else, the desperate needs of others…and yet “prayer” often means roll up your sleeves, Eddie, put some sweat equity into someone else, and just as importantly, into yourself. The bottom line? Work is prayer made visible.
The song, “What Love” has unpredictable twists and turns and yet a very strange rhythm.
A bigger picture: sometimes, many times, the ‘end’ is not what you envisioned. “Better or Worse,” is a matter of course.
Seeds…plant them, grow them…eat them…
The "other" day, I put some seed in the ground. I watched them grow. Now mind you, my perspective is extremely limited; see, I can only 'see' them growing one way. I have seen videos of seeds growing the other way (the roots) as well, but never observed it for myself. I've dug up plants in my yard many times, the type I don't want interfering with the growth of my 'planted seeds.' The type that need no watering, have no seeds (that I know of) and appear without my wanting them to. But my seed, I nurture, I feed; I ensure they grow without hindrance. Sunlight, water, loose soil so their roots go as deep as they need and their stalks and leaves are fed.
We love to see green things grow, especially when they carpet our yard like a well maintained 'bed of ease.' We nurture our trees, carefully tend our gardens, so when the time comes, we can enjoy the fruit of our labor. As a matter of fact, I dare say, some of us lose sleep over the maintenance of our fields, so intent on making sure our effort is not in vain. We really care about our appearance, about our surface…but equal care and concern goes into what is not seen…or does it?
Have you found the exterior is lush and beautiful in your life and yet there's something missing? Have you taken note of your surroundings, of your 'circle' and is it providing food for thought or choking the life out of you? And if you dug deep, would you find you are the 'weed' for others?
Share your thoughts below.
In a given day, we rush forward, then back away. We "START," then STOP! Oh i know I'm not the only one! I'm just the only one talking about it. A great idea, a personal accomplishment, something no one else has ever thought of…but then, ten minutes later, we settle back into our chair, the "task at hand," our number one mission.
In a given day, I go through a hundred moments where, based on the current pressure, I'm "ready to go!" In my head I hear it: "you're better than this. You can do this 'art thing.' Go…and…Stop…Go…and…Stop…
Maybe you're Go and Stop is a a dream; maybe on most days it feels like a foolish pipe dream…someone tole me well over 30 years: "never stop dreaming." And I haven't. So with the entry, i dare you: NEVER. STOP. DREAMING!
What is your Go, Stop?
Promises…promises…I spend a lot of time in solitude as a child. I both hated it and loved it. Have a younger sister, come from a two parent home and had TONS of cousins near and far. Still, I found the 'inner space' more agreeable. Not antisocial - not completely - but we can be so demanding in our allegiances and requirements for 'getting along.' It always seemed to me, someone else got to talk, to 'command respect,' though it never seemed warranted.
As a 'office worker,' I get plenty of alone time. I work in a team environment, but every member "plays his part." And for the most part, we work separately. Blessing and curse, nonetheless. Given the opportunity, I could dialog with a brick wall (at least that's what my mother said of me on rare occasion). I like to listen, to hear someone's life story, their highs and lows. I like to compare "life notes," to find common ground and explore diverging paths. But I'm finding work environments are less conducive to conversation; seems people and corporations prefer to remain in their private bubble. So I sit quietly, thinking, planning… It is interesting that my preferred work and the way I work is alone. I sit in front of a canvas and a thousand decisions, inputs and ways to resolve 'a problem' come to mind. Sit, pen in hand or writing electronically, and a million words, thoughts and ideas come to mind.I've been told that ALL OF THIS leads to something; that my life will not have been lived in vain…sometimes, I really wonder…What about you? I would be interested to hear how you feel the 'pattern' of your life has unfolded. Comment below.
Today, I'm inventorying work created over the last 8 years. Mind you, this is work produced after a 23 year hiatus. This is work that, at times, I was certain, I would never do again. Didn't realize that small ember that sometime singed my thoughts, made depression a valley with no bottom, to the extent, life was a series of endless days and nights…no meaning. That small flicker of light was my 'hope,' at times too small to acknowledge. But 'there' all the same.
Today, I'm inventorying so much work that it hardly makes sense! I have things I have forgotten I did. There are images I laid to the side, dismissed as incomplete or passé´.
I quietly celebrate my past pains, now. I am not passed them, they are just a few feet behind me, in the rear view mirror. But I celebrate my ability to continue moving.
I want the same for Y-O-U.