Saturday, January 9, 2010

Creative Construction

If you don't like the road you're walking on, start paving a new one.

Dolly Parton
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I have an easier time following other people's advice than following my own. That's probably because my own gems of worldly wisdom emerge out of my own molasses mentality. One cannot live without facing confusion, bewilderment and doubt. Sometimes, some people manage to tie those together in a bundle, toss it into a back pack and get on with life.

The implication I read in this quote from Dolly Parton is a challenge to me and to others. It is easier to take a different road if life is not going where you want it to than to actually prepare your own way. And yet we have the right and opportunity to make the road go where we want it to go, to decide on a destination and make a way to get there.

William Jennings Bryan wrote "Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." I think too many people go through life just accepting what comes along and calling it luck, the will of God, circumstances over which they have no control, destiny. And I have certainly been guilty of that lackadaisical hallucination in my past.

I sometimes think of myself as suddenly plunked down in the middle of a jungle with nothing but an axe. I cut down trees, split logs and stank them up to make a dwelling to protect myself from the elements and the wild beasts. And once my creature comforts are taken care of I start to cut a trail through the jungle to get - where? Ah that's the problem. Where am I going?. Am I going to spend the rest of my life in the jungle, like Tarzan? Or am I going to get out somehow? And is the only goal I have to get out? Or is there a reason for getting out? And if so, what is it? That's when I start thinking about destiny. And that brings me ultimately back to the big and most important fundamental question: Who am I?

Am I what I look like? No. Am I what I eat? No. Am I what I do for a living? Not necessarily. The human being is a very complex creature and it probably takes a score of lifetimes to figure him out. I'm glad I'm not in the jungle. I do know a lot about myself that I didn't know before. The way to go becomes clearer every day. My destination is my destiny. And as long as I am not completely self-satisfied (heaven forbid) I have the right and freedom to make a better man of myself, in as many ways as I can.

I'm paving.

DB - The Vagabond
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OTHER VOICES

Next weekend there will be a special Vagabond Journey about the Art of Acting and the Actor's Life with special contributions from as many of my actor friends as I can inspire to write their thoughts and feelings, their experience and wisdom.

That's next weekend. Don't miss it. Tell your friends. Post a notice in all the crooks and nannies around town.

DB

6 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

WJB is on target... I believe that a destiny is a thing to be achieved as well. Yet when does the inspiration comes that points you in the right direction?

I guess that is when you have to decide to pave your own road...

Rose said...

I also believe that you create your own destiny but a bit of luck is thrown in there too sometimes!

I'm still paving just like you!

Hugs, Rose

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

The paving is the easy part, it is the excavation and preparation that is key :o)

Beth said...

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of saying that something is destiny or fate. It implies that there is something bigger at work there, and I don't think there is. I believe it is up to us to make our own way.

krissy knox said...

DB, beautiful, and truly brilliant post. Good for you for paving your path, for realizing there IS more. If we don't pave our path, we get nowhere. I do of course believe in a Higher Power, as you know. I believe you and God together pave that path. Or perhaps I should say, He shows you the path and encourages you where to go, but you have to do a lot of the work. And yes, I do believe He is very involved. But at any rate you do have to do a lot of the work, and come to terms with what that work is and where He is showing you to go. I know perhaps we are somewhat diff in our beliefs, but not as diff as I once thought.

So glad you are not in the middle of the jungle, with no desire to get out. So glad you are an actor, even though that is not all that defines you! So glad you're a man of art, in many forms, including an opera lover. So glad you're a philosopher, a student of religion, and a seeker. So glad you're so bored and so after the truth that you'll never be satisfied with only the forest!

Keep paving!

krissy knox :)
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Bonnie Bonsai said...

There is no age limit in paving your own road. It may only have to start from a little trail by kicking an empty tin ...to become a footpath...Actually, you don't have to pave one anymore. You are now in the middle of the highway. Perhaps, you need a new vision. A clear spectacles. :)