Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Yesterday's Yank 10/08/09

It's definitely a struggle to prove yourself just as a good human.

Tina Yothers
Yesterday my life changed. It felt like a sea change or a tectonic movement. In some way and in some degree I'm not the man I was yesterday.

I have been known in the past as a generous person. I was generous with my money whenever I hade any. I was generous with my time and energy. I took a year off from my career to administer a program to help New York City kids improve their arts programs. I took supporting roles in productions that other actors wouldn't bother with in order to offer my talent, enthusiasm and ability to help make it a good show. I always took time to talk with young actors about their careers and give them advice and coaching. Some older actors don't want to do that.

Ten years ago I was doing a play with an actor who was contentious and difficult to be with. I tried to treat him with respect and friendliness. We were the two leading players. Because there was a musical number in the play, we had a choreographer. One day in rehearsal he said to me "I admire the way you handle him. You're a good man." I thnked him and went out behind the theatre and cried. I cried because I was 60 years old and that was the first time in my life anyone had ever said that to me. I had to wait until I was 60 to hear someone tell me I'm a good man.

I can't explain why but sharing has always been one of the foremost motives of my life. To share what I have, what I know, my ideas, my thoughts, my feelings, my stories, my jokes, my love. Sometimes it isn't appreciated. But sharing with others has been from the start the main purpose of Vagabond Journeys and my other blogs.

I've had a lot of trouble lately, financial, physical and legal, and I see more on the horizon. Maybe as a result my writing isn't as sparkly as it used to be and my words don't carry the spirit and enthusiasm they used to. No doubt that's true. For that reason and also because my readership has been severely and saddeningly declining over the past several weeks, I'm rethinking my whole commitment to what I'm doing here. I read more journals than I get readers. There are 86 journalists that I read regularly, some with more than one blog. Like most people I may not always leave a comment but if there's a new entry I read it and look at the pictures. It says at the bottom here that I have 82 followers, plus I have 16 regular email companions. But if almost all of them are not reading me I wonder why I'm writing. It's a big fabulous world full of interesting people and I like to keep in touch with as many of them as possible.

Yesterday was a very windy day here. As I was coming back from the market I stopped to rest by a fence next to a tree filled field. I heard a loud cracking noise and a large branch from high up on one of the tress broke off and crashed on the ground in front of me. The tree was no longer interested in the branch. The wind took it over and handed it on to gravity which threw it on the ground. Nature's epiphany. I am not the man I was yesterday. I feel I might soon have an epiphany of my own.



Indigo said...

My dear friend always remember the most profound lessons and compassionate acts we pass on, are often those we are not aware of.

No matter the tone of your writing, I've always gathered something of awareness and truth from you. Even if you only wrote for you, there is more between these lines you write than you could ever encompass.

I hope you don't despair and leave your journal. For me at least my life would feel the empty space you've left. Rarely these days do you find someone who writes with wit and experience, imparting a lesson in each written post. Rarely does a well read and intelligent man take the time to write with such eloquence.

I hope you know you're far more important than you often give yourself credit for. (Hugs)Indigo

salemslot9 said...

do you feel like you
had a brush with death?

Beth said...

I echo Indigo's remarks. Blogging is a strange's hard to imagine that people want to read what we have to say, but there are some who do. Comments are sporadic, with some of the entries that we work the hardest on and that we're most proud of garnering only a handful of comments. Other entries, ones that we consider silly and just-for-fun, can generate dozens of comments. Ken and I always get a kick out of it, as in "Can you believe my entry about jellyfish got 15 comments?" :)

I still laugh about the silly video I put up called Spaghetti Cat. It's a black cat sitting in front of a plate of spaghetti superimposed in various settings like game shows and talk shows. There is a silly song about Spaghetti Cat. It makes me laugh every time I hear it. Apparently it strikes others that way, too, because I can't begin to tell you how many people have found my blog by searching for Spaghetti Cat. People from all over the world love Spaghetti Cat. Go figure.

My point is that we never know what will strike a chord in a reader. As Indigo pointed out, many times we are not aware of who we touch and how. It's always great to get feedback, but we don't always get it. I hope you'll continue writing for YOU, as well as for those of us who enjoy your writing--whether we let you know our feelings or not.

Love, Beth

Arlene (AJ) said...

DB you touch my heart with everything that you write about, I know you have certainly made me stop and give thought to many of your reads which I find opens my thoughts and mind to rethinking some things and reaching for new possibilities. I value your reads and friendship and hope you never stop journaling dear. So glad you were safe when the branch came down.

pacifica62 said...

I think Beth pretty much says it all. Perhaps the actor in you requires a more immediate and auditory response than many of us give you. You just don't know who is reading or what effect your words have on those readers. Sometimes the effects are not readily known and comments could be a while in coming. Perhaps we need to give you a well deserved standing ovation once in a while to let you know that we are still here for you cause I know that we are.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

We all go through times of low comments and such. Know that we enjoy reading, but at times, it is a tough thing. I got home tonight after work and an organizational meeting, and there were 76 entries to scroll through. Hang in there and try and go with the flow.

Sue said...

Dear DB, This is kinda funny, cause I started your Brian story from the beginning today. I get a tad frustrated reading the snippets day by day. I think you are a creative and thoughtful author, and I wanted to enjoy your works for more than a few minutes at a time. I read your journal and your jottings every day. So many of us use Google Reader, bypassing your Blog page, giving you the impression that you are not being valued. For that I am sorry.
I want you to think of that branch as an omen to KEEP writing. I hope it jolted you out of the funk I think we all get at this time of year.
If I had a tenth of your talent, and a smidge of your experiences, maybe I would have something worthy of sharing. So add me to the list of shadow readers, I know there are a lot of us.


Gerry said...

I found this to be an interesting entry I wanted to comment on. I have been struggling for a long time living in a complex of close to 300 apartments and what happens after years here is that everything you do that people might envy, you struggle with endless nasty reactions to the point that some things you can't even do because the bad reactions are overwhelming. So I have spent a lot of time in here trying to figure out how to get around these bad reactions. For example I do almost everything I do associated with a bad alcoholic who I enjoy but is not a complete person, while I was forced to hide an attraction to a sober man, a reformed alcoholic, for years. Nobody chases after the bad alcoholic who gets drunk every day, so I have been relatively free to associate with and do things with him as much as I wanted. I had to fight, however, for every few moments I ever spent talking to the sober guy who naturally had qualities completely missing in the drunk, but every woman in here was chasing him! The sober man finally gave up his sobriety, and I think now he is dead. I would have a better chance associating with his ghost than I would with him in real life. I have learned that this is how older people act in a place like this. Very primitive, uncivilized, quarrelsome, malicious, well I could go on and name many more such traits. I thought ten years ago this man was going to starve to death if something more did not get through to him, so I told him just to send his thoughts, that he needed an invisible means of communicating without people realizing what was was happening. I called it spirit walking which I had done before with men who were trapped in some kind of morass of bad reactions all the time. This seemed to work and helped him for a long time, but that too eventually failed. When he started to drink again I think he just lost faith in his own ability to tell what was wrong and to try to fix it. When he sobered up he did not expect people to act like they did. He thought sobriety was bound to bring him happiness sooner or later. Well, I think it did bring him the reactions that an uncivilized society has in reaction to a charismatic man. But there was a lot more dissension and unpleasantness than he could deal with on and on, so alcoholism was his weakness and that is what he could no longer keep at bay.
People never react as well as we would like them to. I do think charismatic people become actors, but in an increasingly savage society indifference may ensue. Other negative reactions. I even think that sometimes people attack charisma. And after they have destroyed the charismatic they are sorry.
So if we want to survive we have to accept the times when people turn on charisma and try to destroy it. It is a wave of destruction that will eventually end, but until it does people who have some very attractive traits to offer the world will find it very rough going. They may even find a downturn of appreciation life threatening because they re not getting enough to survive. But fortunately there will always be some who will be able to counteract the hard times with words of encouragement and life will eventually become easier again. Gerry

Linda S. Socha said...

I know that you know that nothing is a one to one return....but that on any given day a word can turn a life around

I love and appreciate your writing. I know I have periods of just being lazy about doing what I actually love to do in the
name of doing what I think I ought to be doing. I am still learning which is which
Thanks for writing friend