Monday, January 5, 2009

A blast from the past

Laughable Loss

If you're trying to invent something new,
you're going to reach a lot of discouraging points
and most people give up.

Steve Lacy


Hello Blog Spotters

It's okay to give up. Giving up is fine. Giving up is good. I give up several times a day. When the pen falls on the floor and disappears into the black hole, I give up looking for it. I gave up trying to get my scanner to work so I could post some pictures in my journal. I gave up trying to get my journal started on blogspot. Everything I have and I've done I gave up on.

What giving up does is to relieve the growing emotions like frustration, desperation and rage. It enables one to let go of the trash that's gathering at the front door of one's thinking. It then enables one to open the door and let fresh air into the mind. It thumbs its nose at failure and disappointment. It justifies tears.

But if you don't take yourself too seriously, it also enables you to go back and start over. The air is cleared, the bonds have been removed and the fog has drifted away. It's a splendid emotional cleaning. It can help to turn misery into joy.

This afternoon I watched a friend accidentally drop a small piece of her telephone as she was trying to assemble it. It fell to the floor and disappeared. She was angry and frustrated because she couldn't find it. Groping around on the floor in the only places it could be just made her more upset. Finally she gave up. We had a chat, shared a few laughs and she went and sat down. From her chair she could see under a cabinet and there was the piece she had been looking for. Not where it should logically be.

Years ago I was doing a play down south. It was a terrible experience. I didn't like the theatre, the director, the other actors or the town. I was miserable. I finally made up my mind to leave. I quit the show, left the theatre and went home. It was a long bus ride to get from there back to New York. And all the way I kept asking myself what I thought I was doing. I was walking away from a job, from my career. I had never done anything like that in my life. But there was a quiet voice inside me which kept saying "You're doing the right thing." I wouldn't have paid any attention to it if it had happened only once. But the voice kept repeating over and over again "You're doing the right thing."

When I finally got home I relaxed and went to sleep. When I woke up the next day I started processing what I had done and I realized that I had accepted that job for the wrong reasons. It was a money choice, not an artistic choice. There was nothing wrong with the play itself. It was the production that made me unhappy.

A week or so later I received a call from another theatre asking me to come and play the very same role I had walked away from. A bigger theatre, a better director and a nicer group of people all around; it was a very happy experience. Obviously I had done the right thing.

I spent my life working as a performing artist. Now I'm retired with physical problems. I've given up acting and quit show business. Will I ever work again? I don't know. But as my actor/director friend Jim. I have sung my swan song so many times I no longer take myself seriously.

May all of your friends be thinking good thoughts about you right now.

DB - The Vagabond


Rose said...

I am thinking good thoughts about you right now.

Hugs, Rose

Leigh said...

Make that 2 good thoughts!

An intriguing entry to ponder today!

:) Leigh

a corgi said...

I'm thinking good thoughts of you DB! glad you don't give up and keep persevering on no matter what!


Linda's World said...

Another great port DB. It made me think about all the times I have given up on something or somebody. Was it always the right thing to do? I think sometimes, we'll never know. But we do what we do and have to live with the consequences of that. Raining here today~better than snow! Linda in wet & gloomy Washington

Linda's World said...

That would be another great "post." I said "port." I guess I've got cruising on my mind again. LOL

Arlene (AJ) said...

Also thinking good thoughts about you as I type. Such a touching and so true read. Makes one stop and think, thank you.

nancybrownowl said...


krissy knox said...

So giving up on something that isn't right for you often means opening a door in your life to something better. Thanks for reminding me of that. The wisdom comes in knowing when to give up, and when not. In being able to listen to that inner voice that tells you what is right for you and what is not, and what to do in each situation. Learning to trust God, and learning to trust yourself. And then just "doing it."

Thanks DB for a thoughtful post.

krissy knox :)
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Breezy said...

I will have to ditto what Krissy Knox said.

I have learned when to walk away from a situation to clear my head and come back to it later. Other times I know what I am attempting is not my thing and to give it up.

Sending you more GOOD THOUGHTS!!