Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade.
Inertia. Ssssss. That's one of the nastiest words in the language. In human terms it's the official word for laziness, immobility, noninvolvement, slacking off, taking it easy, phoning it in, out to lunch, gone fishing, I can't be bothered.
When I was about 12 years old I remember sitting on the ground, playing with some sticks, with the warm sun on my back. It felt so good to be doing nothing important and having the sun caressing my central nervous system I decided then and there that was the way to live my life, no cares, no responsibilities, nothing serious. And so I did, for a while. I coasted my way through high school doing well enough to pass with a good grade and then coasted my way into college, which turned out to be the wrong way to coast.
At about the same time I discovered that I had talent as an actor. It was easier for me to be an actor than a scholar . I thought. That idea and my whole life with it went through a major change. I know I've written before about Edward, my first and only acting teacher who taught by directing plays, real plays in a real theatre with rehearsals, a dress rehearsal, an opening night and an audience of strangers.
Edward and I had spoken to each other as acquaintances a few times, but when I signed the contract he became my teacher and my boss. And I will never forget the first official words he said to me. "Can't you find anything to do?"
That remark set a spinning wheel of energy inside me which has never stopped. I can write about many ways that spinning wheel has characterized my life, but it's all in the past and the past doesn't interest me anymore. Contemplating bittersweet memories of the past is enervating and bothersome. I'd rather have a stiff drink and forget the past, the good and the bad.
The real story of Edward's energy cell gift to me is that it's still spinning. Now I can enjoy sitting in the shade and imagining a garden. But sooner or later I will get up and start poking in the ground to create the garden I have in mind. Everything you do has an effect and that effect is the future. If you sit still and coast along through life where's your future?
Sue Hertz took the challenge and knitted herself a sweater, something she's never done before. It's a success. Maybe she can't wear it now. But when the nasty winter winds begin to blow she has a brand new sweater to wear.
It's Spring. Poke in the dirt, push some seeds in there, water, fertilize, tend, weed and in the near future sit in the shade and admire your garden. But don't sit too long. Can't you find anything to do?
DB - The Vagabond
Never Give Up