Monday, August 30, 2010

Words From The Bench

This age thinks better of a gilded fool,
Than of a threadbare saint in wisdom's school.

Thomas Dekker
There are a lot of gilded fools around these days. They are gilded by bright lights, microphones and TV cameras, by video clips, sound bites, and interviews, by podiums and pulpits and by sycophantic sparkler worshippers.

Many people have opinions which they think are based on reason but which aren't. If a fact emerges which challenges that opinion they don't ;like it and will stop listening. If I went to church, which I almost never do, I would go to a small store front church with no fancy pipe organ but a guitar player or at best a spinet piano and a pastor who deals with the hard knocks of life every day and whose faith and understanding are based on survival, not on wealth. I will stay away from the big glass and marble palaces with thousands of emotion charged worshippers cheering for the rich man up front.who promises salvation for the right price and the right political choices.

There are smiles and then there are smiles. I have seen the flash of the two thousand dollar teeth as the crowd shouts "Hallelujah" and "Thank you Jesus" and I have seen the benign and peaceful grin of the bedraggled philosopher who has come to terms with the dichotomies of life. The best class room in the world is a park bench.

All the rhetoric, speech making, public appearances and stack of opinions are worthless compared with one solid grain of truth. I like the story of the Hebrew scholar who was going for his PhD. He had done all the research and paper work and, had taken all the tests. The only thing left was his dissertation. On his way to the room where he would deliver it he met his professor in the elevator. As they rode up together his professor asked him one question. He answered it and when the elevator door opened his professor said "You passed."

In my career I have performed for an audience of three thousand people. To receive an ovation from that many is a formidable experience to be sure. But even though they enjoyed the show the message did not get through to all of them. On the other had I've played in a theatre so small it housed no more than ten people. There were people so close to me I could have reached out and touched them. To look a man in the eye when he says "Bravo" is worth three thousand.

I have lost friends and readers. Saturday I had ten. A small house. I didn't bake the bread or bottle the wine. They were given to me during my own sessions on the park benches of time by the threadbare saints I have known. But I will break the bread and pour out the wine for others and if I get a single "Bravo" it will have to be worth the hundreds of readers that some writers have.

DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)

Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?

Only 7 responses so far.
This is evidently not a populate question.
I have a few great answers. I want more.

Thank you.


Linda S. Socha said...

I find myself caught in a summer malaise and fatigue. At least I am hoping it will leave with summer!

I read from a distance your beautifully written piece and I thnk I am glad DB is part of my virtual world.

Valerie said...

Dana, I so appreciate you. I wanted you to know that today. Thank you for sitting on your bench and speaking with us today =). Have a good week, my friend. xox

Arlene (AJ) said...

DB when you speak, we who read your site listen for sure. Think summer and all folks have going on are keeping some from getting on the computer much, just remember those of us who read your site care deeply about you. You touch our hearts with your words.

Gerry said...

I sometimes feel the need to change the direction and content of my communications knowing this might lose me readers, and sometimes only my sister is reading, but she has always been an important member of my support system. Millions of people have only a few people for support. That seems to be way life was designed. The rarity is when one person gets many, but they might not be essesntial to life, so I content myself with what I get!

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

Bravo :o)