Sunday, July 25, 2010

Get Busy

If every day is an awakening, you will never grow old. You will just keep growing.

Gail Sheehy
Someone, I think it was Thoreau, said understanding yourself is like trying to look behind you without turning around. When I woke up yesterday morning at the first blink I saw daylight and a voice in my head said "Come on. It's daytime. Get up. Get busy." Then I said "Wait a minute. It's the weekend, it's very hot and I'm retired. I will get busy on my own terms, thank you."

But what was that morning voice in my head? It comes from years ago. It was the first thing my teacher and mentor said to me, my first lesson. It was a lesson in life as well as in acting. He siad "Can;t you find something to do?"

That remark set my life spinning and ever since I've been on a journey of discovery, of awakening. As an actor I leaned, as long as my character wasn't asleep or dead, to be fully focused and concentrated on some goal, some objective, some action, "something to do" that was appropriate to the play. I was known to be actively involved in considering the next step in the characters life as the lights faded down on the last scene.

I carried over that instruction of finding something to do in every area of life. I would get frustrated with myself if I watched aimless television or busied myself with crossword puzzles when there were other things of a more productive nature
demanding my attention.

I also learned another lesson as a result of my teacher's remark and that is about consciousness. The discovery is that we all have much more control over our own thinking than we imagine or exercise. It isn't just a matter of forming our own opinions and not being swayed by others. It is also a matter, and a much more important one, of deciding what we are going to think and disciplining ourselves to think that way.

As an actor I was responsible for the characters thoughts and when those thoughts were charged with emotion and energy they produced a decided effect on the drama. And why not accomplish the same thing in real life? Not by will power or coercion but by choosing what we are conscious of. and what we are allowing ourselves to be aware of. A genuine and vigorous expectation of good will awaken us to it and allow us to be prepared to take advantage of it when it comes.

On Monday afternoon I had a conversation with a very nice social worker who is trying to help me with some of my physical and financial problems. I had to describe to her all the things that are wrong and in the process I had to recount some of the desperate circumstances of my childhood. She said that in spite of all the problems I have and have had in my life I sound like a "happy man." I replied that I guess so, I have a sense of humor and I expect to laugh every day.

I also expect to discover, to learn something and to wake up every morning ready to find something to do.

DB - The Vagabond
My story "The Savior" is continuing, up to part 10 now, on Vagabond Tales


Here are some well known issues as if they were reported by the modern news media. What are they?

1. Last night while the occupants were asleep an intruder entered the house somehow and left behind some suspicious looking boxes. The FBI is investigating.

2. Instead of remaining by the river two youngsters stupidly thought they would try their luck further up. They both toppled off a cliff, which served them right. The boy is listed in serious condition. Doctors have not as yet reported on the girl.

3. Responding to complaints police found a man in the middle of town hiding under a tree and making a horrible noise banging pieces of metal together.

4. Police report that a mad man came speeding through the city in the middle of the night shouting at people to load their rifles.

5. Parents in this community are very distraught. An itinerant worker, in a dispute over wages, has been kidnapping their children. Amber alerts have gone out all around the area. None of the children have yet been located.

6. There was a standoff between the two gangs at the stream. Witnesses say it might have ended peacefully except that one guy fired off his rifle. A fight ensued.

Good luck.
Leave your answer on in case others don't get to it until later.


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

Laughter is afterall the best medicine :o)

Glad you have someone helping you out a bit.

pacifica62 said...

There are many people out there who judge a person on what they have done during their day. First and foremost it must always be "productive" as in getting some mysterious tasks done that will somehow benefit one's life or the life of others. I don't much like that kind of thinking, in fact I detest it.
To me, watching TV or doing crossword puzzles is not wasted, empty, "unproductive|" time. Far from it. However it can be "productive" because it gives me a chance to relax and certainly the opportunity to learn new things. While the remark "Can't you find something to do" would no doubt inspire and motivate some people (like yourself) to live their life with conviction and purpose, it has the total opposite effect on me. "Productivity" means different things to different people and I abhor those who set standards as to what that word should or should not mean in my life. I want to define that for myself.
Very pleased to hear that some help could be coming your way db. Despite all that life has thrown at you over the years, amazingly you have come out of it all a reasonably happy man. Kudos to you for doing the next to impossible.