The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly.
Cecil B. DeMille
Join the wagon train.
I often write in this journal about limitations and the overcoming of them. That's because I have a lot of them and overcoming them seems to be the major issue of my life these days. My life is primarily taken up with negative pursuits, cleaning up messes, straightening out clumps, ironing our wrinkles, untying knots, dispelling daemons, chasing wolves, negotiating with monsters, staying alive. People whose names I don't even know are trying to nail down the lid on my future, my hopes and my happiness.
One may say all of my problems are in my own head. Maybe. But if so how did they get there. Ever since I was a little child I remember deprivation. lack and loss as the qualities that characterized my being. I DID NOT decide to be a poor person at the age of 6. When I had some money I was very generous with it and supported people and organizations I felt were valuable, helping people, children, animals and the planet. I did that until the money was gone. There has been no payback. That which went around has not come around. At the few times when someone came forth with a helping hand, though it was gratefully received, it was often inappropriate and useless. There were exceptions to that, such as my new monitor, which is the gift of a couple of solid gold blog spotters, and a very nice afternoon with another one who gave me some books. I love books.
The trouble is that one can become so involved in trying to get above the level of poverty that one forgets there may be something more to life. I try to think back to my youth to discover what it was I wanted to do, what my goal in life was, before I had to give up everything for the sake of getting by. I believe that if I latched on to that and went after it at high speed, most of the troubles I face would become less important. But so far my introspective fishing has not brought up anything. I know I had a goal, a dream, a desire once. What happened to it? Where did it go? It must be around here some place.
I was ridiculed out of being an astronaut in the 5th grade. I was called a liar in front of the class in 6th grade for my interest in politics. I listened to opera and classical music and read great literature because it had the ideas and ideals that were well above those that accompanied me in my squalid life. People said I listened to that music only because I was pretending, trying to show off a false erudition. Two brothers I knew came to visit me one Saturday afternoon and were baffled to learn that I actually listened to the opera when no one else was around. One day as a teenager I was publicly laughed at when it was discovered I had a book of poetry in my pocket. I was with the wrong people. But the right people were not around. My love of music didn't translate into talent so I became an actor, since that's where my talent was. To the day they died neither of my siblings could believe that that's how I made a living. The few times my mother saw me perform she had nothing but criticism for me.
But the stage was the only place I felt safe and secure because acting was something I could do and do well, and while I was on stage the deniers and suppressors couldn't get to me.
But now illness has struck down my acting career and without the money to get anything cured I'm left with little to do. One of the motives of my life has been to share what I have with people, even though sometimes it's resented. So now I write everyday in hopes that something I know and have experienced will be of benefit to someone. Even so, some people I know are saying "He's trying to be a writer." as if "being a writer" is naturally beyond my capabilities.
Now I struggle. I struggle with pain and illness, I struggle to get out of debt, to read from my books until my poor eyes get too tired and won't focus, to find food I can chew, to find my way out of this jungle of trouble, to have something to live for. I hope, at least, that my sense of humor doesn't abandoned me.
My vagabond journey is now a search for worth, value, purpose, the hopes and dreams for myself I had as a boy and that were knocked down and trampled on by circumstances. But I believe there is still a brightness somewhere I can't see, a light, a phoenix nest, a hidden naphtha waiting to burst into flame again. And I am searching for it. It's a search for the goal I left behind.