Sometimes you have to admit to failure, but never admit to defeat.
DB - The Vagabond
Sometimes, but not very often, I wonder if there will ever be a day when I will relax, be at peace, harmonious and serene. I suppose, in some strange way, I should be grateful I didn't grow up in a wealthy family. The struggle to survive from my earliest days has put me into the habit of doing things, forced me into finding ways to make a living and be inventive about how I live my life.
If I allowed myself to be envious, I would envy people who got a college education, who had the advantage of a family and a nice home and who could afford new clothes and vacations. I would envy those who were never in danger of running out of something important to them. I would envy those who could indulge themselves in whatever they were curious about. I would envy those who reach a comfortable retirement, healthy, debt free and surrounded by family.
But then again I think that if I had nothing to do but sit on my porch, sipping my gin and tonic and watch the seagulls flutter, I might just give up the ghost.
I was a successful entertainer, never rich and with only a slight sliver of fame, but in my corner, gathering dust, is a huge pile of failures. I sold books and magazine subscriptions, I owned an employment agency, a advertising agency, I was an instructor in public speaking, an acting teacher, an arts administrator and a jazz drummer. To one degree or another I failed at all of them. The problem was I couldn't afford to fail. There was no place to go to lick my wounds and start over. When I failed I was usually out in the cold. One January night, at 11 p. m. I was on a street corner in Los Angeles, carrying all my possessions in a suitcase, a dime in my pocket and no place to go. Don't ask.
A day came when I discovered that the only place I was at ease, relaxed and comfortable was on the stage. I was at home there, and home was where I wanted to be. People paid me to be on the stage. And when I played for them once, they hired me back. Being able to perform was the cure for all the failures I had accumulated during my troubled life.
Now I can't do that anymore, so I write and paint instead. I don't concern myself with whether or not I am successful at those things because I've come to believe there is no such thing as defeat. I wish for a decrease in troubles and an increase in peace, harmony and serenity. I would like to sit with my gin and tonic and watch the seagulls. But knowing myself, to the slender degree that I do, I would probably not sit there for very long.
Life is a vital thing or it isn't life.
DB - The Vagabond
May you prepare to frolic.