Sunday, June 13, 2010

No Fooling

Journeys, like artists, are born and not made.

Lawrence Durrell
I suppose there are as many ways to be a fool as those who've done it, which pretty much includes everyone. We have all stepped in the mud piddle at least once in our lives, taken the wrong turn off the highway and forgotten to record a check we wrote.

I think one of the biggest foolish steps a person can take is to deny who they are, either by not sufficiently understanding themselves or by convincing themselves, or being convinced by others, to try being someone they are not.

I was doing a play in Virginia and on a day off another actor and I went to talk to some high school seniors who had seen the play. They were a smart, bright and lively group. One boy asked us what it took to be an actor. That's a question which requires a 400 page book to answer. So I turned the question back to him and asked if he was thinking about a life in the theatre. He said "Mildly." My colleague said "Well, if you're thinking about it mildly, don't think about it."

The boy was a little shocked, but I hastened to say that my friend was not being insulting, he was saying the truth, a truth about any endeavor in life that is important. I didn't want to dissuade the youngster from following a career in show business. But I wanted him to know that he should think earnestly and honestly about whatever he did, to investigate things that interested him and to keep an open mind. I told him that one day, maybe in 5 years, maybe in 5 minutes, a light would go on and he would know "This is what I want to do for the rest of my life" whether it's acting, science, business, sports or something else.

I distinctly remember when it happened to me. I was about the same age as that boy. I had been calmly contemplating off and on what road I would take in life. Suddenly, at one moment it came to me in a flash. I was an actor and had been an actor since the day I was born.

I call myself a vagabond because my life is a wayfaring one, a journey, as yours is, even if you never leave your house. My journey is particular to me. It has taken me through many experiences that all relate in some degree to my life as an artist and entertainer. It has been a risky journey, chocked with dangers, but totally necessary to be who I am to the best of my understanding and ability.

I have known those who have fooled themselves right out of the lives they should have. I know a man who refuses to give up his regular job to pursue a career. He would rather be sleep deprived than to give up the safety and security he thinks he has. He is denying himself the life of the fine artist he could be. What foolishness!

My own family eventually began to treat me with envy and scorn because they all turned their backs on the talents and abilities they were born with to take orthodox roads to the future, and I didn't.

Now more than 50 years since that moment of realization I can look back and see that I did a lot of foolish things and have a lot of regrets. But for accepting the journey I was given from the day I was born I have no regrets.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Weekend Puzzle - Weekend Puzzle

What? No contestant? Not one?
If I have to tell you the answers you are going to be ashamed of yourselves.
I've added two more questions at the bottom which should be major hints.

I give you the questions, you give me the answers.

Ready. Set. Strike up the band.
1. What's here to stay?
2. Who am I dreaming of?
3. What are free?
4. Where should you tell your feet to go?
5. When did I know the time?
6. What do the light winds say?
7. How did she live her life?
8. Where should you take me?
9. Where have I got you?
10. What shall I brush up?
11. Who ran Venezuela?
12. Why should I keep my violin and bow?
13. What don't I know?
14. Who looks good on a tandem bike?
I'm tapping my foot waiting. Good luck.


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

Life is a journey, and we all need to live it to its fullest.

Bonnie Bonsai said...

What a coincidence that this blog has fitted my thought while walking home tonight from my wholeday outing with friends.

Vagabond journeys ... that's exactly how my life describes. Everything we do is a journey. Whether we engaged ourselves in things that matter to the physical world or the inner world otherwise known as the spiritual world.

Whether what we do is righteousness or foolishness ... I do not ask God, "why me God?" I asked Him how come we are so foolish in spite of your guidance and teachings that in anything we do there is always a consequence. That consequence is either a reward or punishment.

I knew what I wanted in life. It just didn't happen because I tended to satisfy my parents wishes than myself. I set their goal and not mine. Glad as a parent, I listened to the reasons of my girls in regards to the direction they chose else they would end up like me.

Good advice to the younger one Mr DB. I pray that the boy did not lose heart to hear your colleague's straightforward comment.

I had an enjoyable day out there in the freezing sun at the outback. The picnic was fun!

Big Mark 243 said...

That was actually the best advice your colleague could have given.

By following our strongest desires we move closer to finding ourselves.

Arlene (AJ) said...

Life is indeed a journey, maybe some of the things we all did would make others question why, but, we've each learned from the good and bad we have had to deal with in life and I believe it makes us a stronger person. I'm always opened to new challenges, beats sitting around and saying "I wish I'd had tried that". I love being my own person and I'm open to any journey.