Thursday, May 31, 2012


The here and now is all we have, and if we play it right it's all we'll need.

Ann Richards
Hello George
"The past id prologue" Shakespeare wrote, it was made up of a whole string of theres and thens,and there isn't much we con do with it but let the present and the future make whatever needed changes there are in it and put the rest in the dust bin.

"The future lies ahead" as the silly saying goes. We can't predict what's going to happen, people say. Who's going to win the election? Which horse is going to win the race? What are tomorrow's winning lottery numbers? If we knew the answer we would not be rich because everyone else would know also and they would close the lottery down. Personally I like Yogi Berra's view "The future ain't what it used to be."

But what about my future and yours? The fact is we have the future right in our hands, right now. Just as the past was made up of theres and thens, the future is made up of heres and nows. Everything we do today is defining the future for us. We are creating the future at this moment. And that's why the present, the here and now, is the only real time there is.

Years ago I saw a film, maybe you saw it, about a man who bought a strange newspaper from a particular news vendor which printed the news for the following day. The man was delighted since he had foreknowledge of everything that was going to happen. Until one day he read in the paper his own obituary. He panicked, and tried everything to stay alive. But it turned out that another man picked his pocket and stole his wallet and then was struck dead in the street by an accident. When the police repotted it to the news they identified the dead man from the name in the wallet And thus the wrong name was printed in the obit. He decided to stop buying that paper.

The moral of the story is to stop believing the dire predictions the world holds out in one form or another as a certain forthcoming event. There's a word I like. It's prolepsis. It means stating something that may happen in the future as if it has already happened. For example, whoever wins the Republican Party nomination will be introduced to the convention as "The next president of the United States." If he wins the election then it was a true statement. If he loses to the current Present it could be true 4 years later. In any case it is a proleptic statement, and the future is not made of predictions. It's made of the here and now.

I hold my future in my hand right now as a bright guiding star which tells me that what I think at this moment will be reflected in the next here and now, and so on through the infinite string of the present, which is the only real time..

Dana Bate - The Vagabond
Never Give Up

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Some Tenets

Better to guard your inner virtue, nurture your vital essence, protect your spirit, treasure your breath, and avoid talking too much.

Ho-Shang Kung
Hello Margie
In other words keep your cards close to your chest,

Mr. Kung has some good advice here, a check list of tasks which if they don't make us happy at least help us from becoming miserable,

Where's your inner virtue? Do you remember where you put it? Did you stow it away in the bottom drawer of your bureau and forget about it. Well, if so it's in a good safe place, but maybe you should remove it, air it out and have another look to see if you are still living according to it's rules.

You know what your vital essence is and where you put it. It's what makes you who you are and who you are is important to the world so don't let that essence get to sagging and attract some weeds. Give it some sunshine and some TLC. The world needs it.

Why does your spirit need protecting? Because there is an army, disorganized but strong, out to maraud and plunder you out of all that keeps you looking up and forward and facing life with a gleam in your eye. So post a watchman on the tower, fill the moat and don't let enemy through the door.

To be able to walk and breathe is the purest metaphor for freedom. We breathe, that's inspiration. We take in air that's fresh, that's rejuvenation. We experience the aromas of nature and learn her invisible secrets. All things to treasure greatly.

And lastly "avoid talking too much."

I'll say no more.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Vagabondism 311

Vagabondism #311 The greatest fear is not of death but of oblivion.

Take The Plunge

Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.

Christopher Reeves
Hello Jon
1945, summer camp, Saugatuck, Connecticut. There was a medium sized lake and a swimming area marked off. There were raw boats and canoes. There was a diving board just off the surface of the lake. It was parents visiting day and a series of events were planned to entertain them.

When we got to the lake there were swimming races, kids in the canoes and row boats and others making fancy dives off the diving board. But for those events the councilors had ignored and overlooked me (the story of my life) so I had nothing to do. I sat next to my mother and explained that I wasn't given any part in those events.

But soon one of the councilors came up and balled me out for sitting there and told me to get up and do my part. I tried to tell him I was assigned nothing but he walked away. So I got up, stood around and watched.

Next to the diving board there was a tall wooden structure that was intended to have a diving board also. But the camp decided it was too dangerous, being so high. I climbed up the structure. There was noting at the top but a small platform.. From there I jumped feet first into the lake. I think I did it just to show that I had been left out. No one would have been assigned to do that .

But when I cam up out of the water people were applauding. Someone said that it took a lot of courage to jump in like that and not to dive. That made no sense to me. If I go into the deep, without knowing what's there, I want to go feet first and not discover it with my face. Nevertheless, everyone was so impressed that I did it a few more times and ended up the star of the day.

At another time I had won swimming medals (as Brian did), two bronze and one silver for speed, distance and distance underwater. Later, as a young teen I could swim in a club off Long Island Sound. There was a float a good distance from the shore which almost no one swam to. I would swim out to it and far enough away from the sun worshippers on the beach, solatics I called them, I would take off my bathing suit and fling it out into the water, watch it sink and jump in after it, groping around on the bottom until I found it and not coming to the surface until I did. Some times it was so difficult that I was gasping for breath when I finally surfaced. Once I surfaced under the float, which was a shock. This was a major challenge. I had to find that bathing suit. This was before the days of nude beaches and appearing out of the water among the solatics with nothing on would not please the owners.

I didn't realize it at the time but that staying underwater until my lungs were about to burst was actually strengthening them so that years later I could fill a large theatre with my voice and do six lines of Shakespeare in one breath.

I would still like to jump into the ocean. But unfortunately I'm not near the water these days. All I have is a bath tub, the shallow end of the pool.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weep For It

We need never be ashamed of our tears.

Charles Dickens
Hello Marty
"Real men don't cry." Nonsense. A man who will not allow himself to weep when he needs to is denying his own manhood. Sometimes human life seems to be a bucket of tears, pain and regrets. There are plenty of things worth crying about, not just spilt milk.

But sorrow can be a life line to joy. A good healthy shedding of tears can clean the mind and the heart of the mud of depression and hurts. Weeping can be the ritual of purgation for an accumulation of injustices. It is a compassionate comrade through an obscure night of the soul. It is the heart's answer to anger, resentment and rejection. A good cry cleans the slate.

Young actors have asked me how to cry on cue when performing in a play. I tell them that a genuine cry is easier than a genuine laugh. In both cases it takes connection to something genuine in the actor's life, either sympathetic or empathetic. In the case of tears, if one doesn't have something to cry about or isn't able to be sensitive to the circumstances of his character, he hasn't lived a life yet.

I remember doing a play in Philadelphia in which I had a speech about my long lost son. In the speech was the line "I never took him to a ball game." That simple reference, though only marginally personal to me, was enough to open up the gates of my reservoir of tears.

There are fake laughs everywhere. We are all guilty of them. But fake tears are worse. One can put on a sorrowful face, with a quivering voice and an occasional sniff and try to convince people that you're weeping, as I watched one defrocked TV evangelist do one day.

"What's so funny?" It is best to be genuine all the time. Find the humor and laugh at that. And if the heart tells you it needs to weep than let it happen, man or woman.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up

Friday, May 25, 2012

Light And Dark

The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehood is with truth.

Judge William Douglas
Hello Sue
There is a mystical tradition which claims that evil, the Devil, uncomfortable in his own darkness, will flee into light to feed on it and thus encompass it and turn it into darkness. It is an attempt to explain why evil seems to claim rights for itself in a world where good should prevail. It is a noxious idea and I dispute it.

The theory can not hold up under simple observation. .Look at what happens at night. The darkness does not comprehend the light nor does it blot out the sun. Men used to think the sun was a giant chariot racing across the sky from one edge of the earth to the other, thus making darkness the predominant state of being only interrupted by the passage of the sun. But the scientific fact is that the sun doesn't go anywhere. The Earth simply turns it's back on the sun thus removing the light. But when the light returns the darkness disappears. It's not the other way around.

So the devil does not enter our lives on it's own volition to soak up our goodness. It is only when we turn our backs on our good, on our light, that the darkness of evil seems to show up uninvited.

The theory that darkness consumes the light and evil the good is a false idea and there are many others that would try to run and ruin our lives. Truth is a bright, shining light in the darkness of ignorance, but people who have no trouble distinguishing light from darkness can find truth an elusive thing. "What is truth?" asked Pontius Pilate. It wasn't a stupid question But he didn't get an answer. because the answer was lived, not spoken.

For any given issue there may be a great many wrongs, but only one right, and that's the one that should be sought. What makes it complicated is the bundle of theories, traditions and opinions that surround it. Fortunately there is a standard. like the sun, to which all thoughts can relate. The truth is a like a beautiful statue embedded in a giant slab of marble. The more the falsehoods are chipped away the clearer it becomes. Truth is the priceless jewel hidden among the pebbles on the beach. Truth is the correct tone which when sung fills the concert hall. Truth is the result of doing things right.

Dana Bate - The Vagabond
Never give up.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

High Ground

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven.

John Milton
Hello Rose
People are in the habit of expecting and demanding from other people the same ethical rules they try to apply to themselves. It is as if a person knows all about right and wrong and is therefore qualified to teach others. Ethics is a very complicated topic which has absorbed philosophers since the beginning of rational thought. And what makes it complicated is, among other things, the difference between thought and behavior.
Morality has become a rather cheap word these says as politicians chime out about their individual moral stands on one issue or another. We've heard about the moral high ground as if it was a vantage point for casting stones down on those who don't subscribe to the moral tenets of the hill dweller. The annoying fact is that what is moral behavior in one instance is immoral in the next. And that's why it is so important to come to an understanding of ethics and how it affects the individual and the society he lives in.

If a single act can be right in one case and not in another it means we can't judge morality just by human behavior. A soldier is allowed to shoot an enemy soldier but not his next door neighbor, no matter how scurrilous he may be.

We must judge human behavior, if we allow ourselves to judge it at all, on the basis of motives. Motives are mental things. It is very difficult in most cases to know what a person's motives are for doing anything. Those are hidden in the mind of the doer and not public domain. And the person who is holding in mind the motive is free to lie about it if he wants to. .So the overall subject of ethics is not about behavior but about thought. Which brings up the question, whether you act on it or not, if you think an immoral thought are you being immoral? If you are then it is even more important to discipline your thoughts than your actions.

We have all looked into the smiling face of the "so nice" person who is secretly holding close to his mental chest the most dangerous desires and ideas. That person is living in hell. Without realizing it his mind has put him lower then the low moral ground. His pretentious at being the nice guy have forced him into hypocrisy, and sooner or later the thoughts in his mind will spill out into behavior and everyone will be amazed and shocked.

While the true evangel will carefully examine his thoughts and desires to conform them to his highest ideals and thus stand firmly on an invulnerable moral ground no matter where he is.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Who Is Able?

Depressing things are somewhere around all the time. Look them in the face when you have to, but don't give them any authority.

Dana Bate
Hello Arlene
God does not make cripples.

Since I've been walking on crutches I have observed a not so strange dichotomy among my fellow earthlings. I don't know if there are any perfect people living on the planet. If there are I wish they would come out of hiding. I guess everyone has something wrong with them that poses a problem to living a perfectly happy life. Most of my problems have been of the invisible variety, namely with teeth, eyesight, tender feet and stomach trouble. But now that I'm on crutches my infirmity is out there for all the world to see.

If I approach the door to the supermarket some people will hold the door for me, others will purposely not. If I am crossing the street and the light changes one driver will wait until I am safely on the side walk while another will blow his horn to get me to hurry.

What has divided the human race in half when it comes to dealing with someone who is crippled? What I used to think was just simple rudeness and selfishness, I've come to understand has a psycho-philosophical basis for it. There are some people who are disgusted by and unable to look upon other people's defects. Maybe they go into denial, or turn away because they find it offensive or maybe, what is even worse, they say "There but for the grace of God go I."

There are those who would deny a blind person the right to have books in Braille or to allow sign language for the deaf at a public event. They are offended by kneeling buses and ramps for wheelchairs. They would deny any special privileges for the mentally disabled. It's the your-on-your-own mentality.

There is a word to describe this kind of thinking, it's "ableism." An ableist is one who believes a disabled person is a drone on society and should not be allowed to suck the vitals out of everyone else's life by being indulged in their incompleteness and awarded special considerations the rest of us have no need for.

But the very worst kind of ableists are those who say that if you are born blind or become blind through illness or accident then it is God's will and we have no right to interfere. That is gross, raging, fire breathing hypocrisy disguised as religious sentiment.

Ableists have no authority in my world. I can't agree with nor understand them. But if one doesn't want to hold the door open for me, it's okay, I'll get there anyway. And I'll take my time crossing the street, thank you.

DB - The Vagabond
Never Give Up

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Try For The Top

Why not go to the higher point of excellence?

Gabrielle Reece
Hello Val
One of the rules I made for myself as a performing artist is no matter how good it was last night, it can always be better. One of the best studio directors I ever worked for would always consult me after a session to hear what I thought of it. That was a rare occurrence. Most directors just put you in the studio and send orders in through the speaker, "faster, slower, lighter, friendlier" etc. You aren't a human being, you're "talent." But the director I mentioned actually wanted to know my opinion of what I had done. If I genuinely be lived so I would say "It can always be better." Then he would usually say "OK. Give me three more," which I gladly did because it might be better.

Here's my simple formula for excellence:
Try for good and you'll be alright.
Try for very good and you'll be good.
Try for excellent and you'll be very good.
Try for perfect and you'll be excellent.

Indeed, why not try for the high point of excellence. It is a possibility no matter who you are and no matter what you do. Not only is excellent a grand way to turn in any job or perform any activity, it also does wonders for one's self esteem.

"The absolute is available to everyone, in every age."
(Annie Dillard)

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Footlight Competition

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others

Ayn Rand
Hello Diane
OK, here's another acting lesson, so get out in the enter of the studio with everyone else and get ready.

One of the more useful techniques for an actor to employ, if the script allows it, is competition. It is better used by experienced actors than less experienced ones. Why do I say that? I'll explain later.

Plays are mostly made of critical situations and conflicts. If there is a conflict, an argument, one character will win and the other will lose. But the actor who plays the loser must not act as if he is going to lose. He fights to win until the inevitable outcome. Then the actor who plays the winning character gets to depict the satisfaction at winning, while the other actor must show his character's unhappiness at losing. In a tragedy sometimes the outcome is death, or something close to it. In comedy (which is known as serious business in the profession, because it is) the conflict is just as great and the fight is often fierce, although what the two characters are fighting over may be ridiculous. How often have you been caught up in an argument like that?

The conflict and hence the competition may not be so broad, but may be of a subtler level, more mental and psychological, and that's when it requires experienced actors.

Some inexperienced actors think the term competition refers to competition between actors for attention, praise and, in a comedy, laughs. It often results in upstaging, scene stealing, or what is known in the acting business as stealing focus. It's a terrible, unforgivable trait that many inexperienced actors have and, I'm sorry to say, some well known professionals also do.

I remember two incidents of stealing laughs. In one case an actress was delivering a speech to the audience and upstage of her was another actor making funny faces and getting laughs. I noticed it and pointed it out to him. He said he was just reacting to the speech. When I told him it was taking the focus away from the speech he stopped. He didn't realize what he was doing. He was inexperienced.

The second case was more damaging. In a comic scene the actor sat on a sofa and removed his shoes, feeling around inside of them searching for something important. One night he noticed that a certain laugh came early. The next night it did also but he caught a glimpse of another actor in the show sticking his head out from behind a door. So the following night he was ready. When the moment came he turned and flung the shoe right into the actor's face. The lesson was learned.

Competition on the stage or in film is, or should be, different from competition in real life. If it's done right the actors don't compete with each other, the characters do. See for yourself.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Dog's Day

Only man clogs his happiness with care, destroying what is with thoughts of what may be.

John Dryden
Hello Bruce
Yesterday afternoon one of my neighbors brought home a 5 week old poodle puppy. I watched from my door as the two of them tried to agree on what to do next. It was a classic case of the dog taking the man out for a walk.

He had the dog on a leash, trying to get it to go one way, with much concern about when and where the puppy was going to do his pooping. False hope. The puppy was having none of it.

He was very busy discovering that he was alive, that there was a world around him and that the world had to be investigated. The dog was fascinated with things we wouldn't bother with: a rusty chain link fence, a car tire, the trash. Pooping? We'll get to that later, but first what's over there?

It was wonderful to see such eager, focused, immediate life going on. There were no concerns about the future or about what may or may not be the right thing to do. Follow the nose and drag the old, boring adult along with you if you have to.

I had fleeting memories of when I was free to do the same as the puppy. There were golden moments on the stage when the rules were written by the playwright and by my understanding of the role. I was on that leash but the world, the universe, was wide open to me and I took charge, followed my imagination, my instinct, my creativity and sniffed out every crevice, every subtle scrap of the scene. I was never more alive than in those moments.

Wouldn't it be a grand thing if we could all take that instant, innocent interest in the life around us and not worry about things that aren't? I'm looking forward to seeing more of my new neighbor the positive, prodigious, poodle puppy.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Let Me Out

It is one of man's curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of resolving them.

Joseph de Maistre
Hello Bruce
When will I ever learn?

When I was a tot, still in the crawling league, out of curiosity I stuck my head in between the posts on the banister of a flight of stairs. When I couldn't remove it I cried. My mother came to see what the trouble was and said "You got your head in there, you've got to get it out." With great difficult and discomfort I did. And did I learn my lesson?

I have been getting myself into impassible fixes as often as I could for the past 6 or 7 decades. I am a great authority in how to get myself extricated from awful problems that I have created for myself. But, as for knowing how to prevent getting into them in the first place, I'm a dunce.

I am trying hard, even as you read this, to free myself from another such head squeezing mess. How did I get into it? I don't know. I made a miscalculation about someone one day and from there it has grown like a weed with the help of the subconscious spider.

Why do we do those things? Is it because we're stupid? Or is it because life isn't interesting enough? Or are we all amateur Houdinis as de Maistre suggests, giving ourselves painful challenges just for the joy of solving them, putting ourselves in life threatening situations for the pleasure of surviving, getting stuck in some desperate bondage that we can't get out of just for the glee of escaping?

Every time I work my way out of some trap I've set for myself I give thanks that I've learned my lesson and go on my eccentric, vagabond way knowing that I wont let it happen to me again. Ah, but the subconscious spider is already at work preparing my next disaster. And when I get caught in it I know that one day I will be able to raise my arms and shout "free at last," But for how long?

At least now, when I see a mountain, instead of trying to climb it, I walk around it or I turn an go the other way.

To those of you who keep getting your heads stuck between life's banister posts, I say "I know, I know. Grow up. Knock it off. Take it from me. Don't do it."

I wish you a safe and simple weekend

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up

Friday, May 18, 2012

Forgive Me

It's toughest to forgive ourselves. So it's probably best to start with other people.

Patty Duke
Hello George
So many things to be grateful for. So many things to forgive. So many things to regret. So many things to apologize for.

The fact thet human beings don't get things right all the time creates a lot of dust and garbage that either has to be cleaned up or else forgotten about. It gets forgotten because we often can't find or even remember some of the people that we should apologize to. We just have to hope that we have been forgiven or perhaps forgotten.

Forgiveness is another matter. We generally remember those we think have done us wrong, and we have to look at ourselves to see how much resentment we still hold for those people. We can say in our thoughts that we forgive them, but do we really. Forgiveness is a tough one.

Some people hold on to resentment their whole lives and allow it to become a parasite chewing on happiness. As hard as it is forgiveness is the only antidote to resentment. There is no peace of mind without it.

And that brings up the subject of self forgiveness. Most of us harbor regrets, some of them major, which need to be expunged from our lives if we don't want to invite the parasites in to gnaw. I have recently discovered that I can forgive others for things that I find it almost impossible to forgive myself for. But regrets are even tastier meat for the parasites than resentment. So get busy. Roll up your sleeves and plunge your hands into the hot dirty water of regrets and clean out the garbage.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vagabondism 310

Vagabondism #310 Madness occurs when the evil becomes stronger than the man.

Doing Right

There is no moral precept that does not have something inconvenient about it.

Denis Diderot
Hello Bruce
What would you do if you were walking down the street and you spied lying there a paper bag filled with one hundred dollar bills? Would you leave it lying there, take it to the police or put the money in your pocket and walk on? I was always a little bit amazed and incredulous whenever I heard stories of people finding money or other valuable items and not keeping them for themselves but finding the owner somehow and returning them.

I say I was amazed until it happened to me. I entered a men's room in a remote area of Penn Station in New York City. It was not a crowded area and there wasn't much human traffic through there. As I was about to leave I saw a wallet lying on the floor. I picked it up and saw that it was stuffed with money. It was so thick with bills that it didn't close all the way. I was close to the skids at the time and I sure could have used that money. But a moral sense I wasn't even aware I had kicked in.

It was a long walk down a hall to a long flight of stairs and then picking my way through the crowd to get to the Information Desk. When I got there I looked at the ID inside and told the operator who paged the man. It turned out he was standing right there telling another operator about his lost wallet. When he heard the page he said "That's me." I held out the wallet and said "Is this yours? I just found it." The look of gratitude and relief on his face was worth the effort.

Another incident happened on a train leaving Penn Station. It was Christmas Eve and the train was packed. I slipped off my backpack and took a seat. A fellow got on with several large bags. The overhead luggage racks were very full and he had to put his bags here and there in various places. When he reached his destination he wasn't prepared, so he quickly grabbed the bags from where they were. But he forgot one. I shouted to him as he was going down the aisle. "Sir, is that your bag?" He started back to get it. The bell signaled that the train was about to start up again. I said "Go ahead. I'll bring it." Another man at the front jumped up to get the conductor to keep the train from starting. I got the bag off the rack and brought to the door of the car. The owner was already standing on the platform when I handed it out to him. Again there was a great look of relief. Who knows? Maybe it was his kids' Christmas presents

The tail of this tale is that when I returned to my seat there was another man sitting where I had been. When he saw me he got up saying "I was guarding your back pack."

DB - Vagabond
Never give up.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quote Me

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized
wiser than oneself.

Marlene Dietrich
Hello Lily
Anyone who is a regular reader of my blog, Vagabond Journeys, knows that the short bottle cap version of my philosophy of life is :NEVER GIVE UP. One year in New York City when I was suffering from my hip and leg problem I bought a wooden cane to help me get around. I took it to a master carpenter and had him inscribe that three work phrase down the front of the cane. When I was sitting down where people could read it, on the bus or subway, I got a lot of interesting comments about it, most of them very positive.

At another time I wore a button I found someplace which read: REAL LIFE ISN'T LIKE THIS. That button generated more inane remarks than you can imagine. I still have it. Although the Yogi Berra style philosophy of the words is undeniable, I don't wear it any more.

I have 112 pages of quotations, gathered from my voracious reading, which I use as openers for my journal entries, such as the one from Marlene Dietrich above. Each one usually starts my head spinning right away with similar complementary thoughts, so I start writing and several paragraphs later I have a journal entry for your entertainment and mine.

The sad part is I can never say everything I want to say about any topic in one journal edition or it would be so long and cumbersome it would bore both of us and never get read. And so I also keep a paper journal, books filled with random, rambling thoughts about this and that. I've been writing those for years. Some of them have gotten lost, purple prose never to be read. Alas.

But Marlene is correct. If I come up with something I think is a good idea I can usually find some sage or wit who has expressed it better. And when I do I will use it, with proper credit of course, to generate my own thoughts. And I guess I have done some original thinking on my watch. I am the one who invented the saying, "They can steal my fish but they can't steal my ocean" and don't let anyone tell you differently. If you want a look at some of my orignals check out Vagabond Jottings

And speaking of fishnapping, I have even had some of my own thoughts come back to me in disguise, labeled "an old saying," just to keep me humble. But no matter where it comes from of who said it first, inscribed on a cane, written on a button or from the world's great literature, if it rings your bell write it down and use it.

Dana Bate - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What's To Love?

I was adored once too.

Hello George
Who would adore this old geezer? What's to love?

So what if he paints beautiful pictures and write interesting stories, no one in town wants to know him and his one friend turned out to be dishonest. What's to love?

So what if he wrote and sent out over seventeen hundred issues of his journal to entertain, explain and encourage, no one wants to visit him. What's to love?

So what if he knows a lot about theatre and music, he lives in a neighborhood with no ATM, no deli, no laundromat, no post office and no barber. What's to love?

What if he reads and can discuss philosophy and religion, he has bad eye sight, an injured hip, a nasty cough and no teeth. What's to love?

So what if he hitchhiked across the country once, years ago, with stories to tell, now he can't walk to the corner without crutches. What's to love?

So what if he has plans to return to New Your and go back to work, he can't even keep his apartment clean. What's to love?

So what if he likes children and animals, he looks like a bum. What's to love?

So what if he has a heart full of affection, he's just a big, old, smelly thing. What's there to love?

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Four S's

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

Frederick Douglass
Hello Stuart
Not forever by still waters
Would we idly quiet stay,
But would smite the living fountains
From the rocks along our way.
(L. Willas)
Maybe you've heard the old formula for success, the three P's: Patience, Passion and Persistence. Well, I propose the following formula for survival, the four S's: SEEK, SEARCH, STRIVE and STRUGGLE.

One of life's greatest enigmas is the injustice of nature. Why does one person have it easy and another has it hard? Why is one person loaded with advantages and another has to scratch in the ground to get any thing? Why does one person prove his manhood by climbing Mount Everest while the guy in the next town proves his by keeping his kids fed and finding cast off garments that almost fit to dress them?

I'm not ashamed to say I grew up poor nor am I bragging to say that I survived it. I was born into an upper middle class family. Four years later my father died, at an early age. There was no income. My mother had a nervous breakdown and emerged from that with an iron will. She was a devout Christian woman whose prayers were rarely if ever answered. When my older brother and sister left home, she sold the house and I started my vagabond life.

Each place we found to live was worse than the one before, and some of them were very temporary. We eventually ended up in a shack with no central heating and sometimes no electricity. We were poor white trash, slum dwellers, in a wealthy suburb of New York City.

SEEK - Seek out the hidden, buried and discarded things with the faith that you'll find them. When something is uncovered make use of it. If it isn't, you do without.

SEARCH - When real need arises it must be found, whether it's an item or an idea. Be inquisitive and adventurous about it. There are more answers residing in the human mind than most humans are aware of. We must learn to trust our own thinking ability.

STRIVE - For those who have little or nothing striving is a way of life. My mother never had a trouble free day. She faced life with grim determination, stress, deep depression and arthritic fingers. And she survived. Strife is the activity, and progress is the possible result.

STRUGGLE - Don't think for one lazy moment that it isn't going to be a struggle, because it is. When you're poor no one shows up to help you carry the burden up the hill. The days are too long, the task is too hard, the reward is too small and the discouragement is too big. When the end comes, even though you know the struggle will continue the next day, you pull whatever cover you have over yourself and be glad you made it through another day.

When the morning comes, even though you don't want to, you rise, take your staff and smite the living fountains from the rocks in your way.

Living with my mother taught me about seek, search, strive and struggle. And it also taught me to...

Never give up.
DB - The Vagabond

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Talk To The Dog

How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.

Wayne Dyer
Hello Lilly
There's a big difference between knowing that you have lessons to learn and knowing what they are even before you learn them. Self satisdfaction is a comfortable and attractive suit of clothes, but it can cover the nakedness of ignorance, particularly ignorance about oneself.

I am one who usually goes along through life with a sense that I'm secure in the knowledge I have of myself. But then I will trip and fall and bump my chin on some new particle of information I didn't undeerstand or consider.

I found that my reactions to other people tend to be abrupt and falsely final. If I feel someone has wronged me I don't want revenge, which is just as wrong, I just want them out of my life, promptly, followed by the burning of bridges. Lately I've come to the realization that, even though the end result won't be any different, I could be more proactive and take the time to discuss things before the final curtain. Who knows, it may benefit the wrong doer and save me all the drama.

One day a few years ago I was sitting on a park bench when a couple approached with a medium sized dog. The dog walked over to me in a friendly manner so I stood up to greet him. When I did that he started growling and snarling at me. The owners wee very upset that he did that. I just said "All right" and walked away.

Maybe my standing up startled him, maybe the owners recently got him from a kennel as an adult and maybe he had been trained as a guard dog and thought I was threatening them. maybe he had had some brutal treatment from someone I reminded him of. Maybe I could have made friends with the dog. I will never know and will never be able to assure the owners. I walked away. I regret that.

Now, as a neophyte in proactive behavior, I think my reaction should be better that the treatment I get from other people, good or bad.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What's on your mind?

The future is much like the present, only longer.

Dan Quisenberry
Hello George
Measurements are good for designing clothes, building sheds and figuring how long it will take to drive to Aunt Martha's house. Measurements are very poor and often destructive things when it comes to life. Things take as long as they take. What difference does it make to look back and see how long it took for something to happen. The past isn't important anyway. It's over. It doesn't exist.

If the future is like today then it stands to reason if you want a certain future you should be living it as much as possible today and learning thereby how to live it more. We must make plans for the future, of course, but the best time to begin that improvement program is today, not tomorrow.

I once knew a fellow who at the age of about 30 calculated at what point in his life he would be coming down with certain diseases and infirmaries. He even tried to include me in his calculations as if it was the natural course of everyone's life. I didn't buy it. I saw him years later and it seems he had successfully programmed himself into a walking advertisement for disaster. He was a mess. And he was surprised to see me so sprightly and limber. We were the same age.

It's not a difficult thing to discipline thought. We do it all the time when we need to. It's when we don't seem to need to, when the mind is wandering, day dreaming or generally unoccupied in serious thought that the negatives might start to take over, the fears, worries and depressions. Those are the thoughts that don't belong to us. They come along with the breeze and stick to the fly paper of our minds. Then we have some cleaning up to do. Heaven forbid we should discipline our thoughts to measure how long it will be before we become sick and infirm, like the poor fellow I knew. Whereas if we keep a bright, warm beacon focused on the rights not the wrongs, the hopes not the fears, the desires not the doubts, we eventually bring those realities from today into the future, as we bring the future into today. And it doesn't matter how long it takes.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dana's today verses

Oh, take me to the place where true affections dwell
And not be scornfully told to go to hell.

Oh, find me that family where hearts are bound
And each with each other's joys are crowned.

Oh, set me up upon that secret, garden wall
Where no reptilian spirits are allowed at all.

And if gross darkness comes and I can't see
Bring up your radiant light. Do not abandon me.


Vagabondism 309

Vagabondism #309 Happiness should be the natural state of everyone. We shouldn't have to pursue it

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Hills Are Alive

There is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.

Edward Elgar
Hello Bruce
One year I took a college geology course. The professor was excellent and got me fascinated with rocks. I would walk down the street analyzing rocks where ever I saw them: stone walls, stone buildings, any stone structure, even pebbles on the beach. I would try to determine what they were, what they were made of and how they were formed. For a year I was a rock fanatic. It greatly improved my observation skills.

Another year I spent taking a music course called ear training, where you learned how to recognize intervals and chords by only listening to them and not reading the notes from a score. It was very difficult at first, but was an interesting exercise and improved my listening ability very much.

I began to listen to all kinds of sounds, the birds, running water, cars and trucks passing, people talking. I realized how many different sounds there were in a single sound. Some of those sounds were tones of a scale while others were toneless. I began to hear sounds where I didn't expect them. Buildings. Buildings have sounds. My building emits a quiet, high pitched trill.

There are sounds in the air. They're there if you listen for them. They are quite harmonious sounds as a matter of fact. This giant rock we stand on is filled with sounds. They say there are even sounds in outer space. Though no human ear has ever heard them , as far as we know, sensitive recording devices have picked up some of them.

As there is with rhythm, there is music everywhere. More than we could ever require.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Threads And Patches

True goodness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it.

William Penn
Hello Sandy
In this human life, which is made up in large measure of a dream, it is a difficult thing to identify and describe true goodness. The best one can do is to attempt an approach to it and to understand it. There are steps to be taken, of course. I want to be a better man today than I was yesterday, and a better man tomorrow than today. But when does it become "true goodness"? That sounds like an ideal impossible to reach. One might say they are truly good under a certain circumstance, but try holding up their goodness against all the vagaries and vicissitudes of life and see how true it is to the ideal. In the long travel down the road to goodness I guess it can be approbate to say that one who is actively and energetically seeking to be good can be called truly good.

Now what about mending the world? Who says it has to be mended? And if it does how did it get torn in the first place? Ignorance, miscalculation or plain old bad behavior can mess things up and tear the fabric of our world. Among those who are flexing their goodness to mend things are the artists.

I once saw a fascinating lecture given by a well known dancer. He first did some ballet moves, then some modern dance. He followed that with mime and then pantomime. Finally he sat, took out a needle and thread and began sewing up a ballet slipper. Then he said "At the basis of all art is a torn shoe." Soon he went back and showed how all the movements, the balletic, the modern, the mime and pantomime all related somehow to the act of sewing up a tear. He went on to talk about how artists can fis the torn tapestries of our lives, fix broken relationships and improve threadbare ideas. I have always remembered that lecture and whenever I was working on a lay one of the important things I looked far was the tear I had to mend.

DB - The Vagabond.
Never Give Up

Vagabond Shoes

These vagabond shoes
They are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it,
New York, New York.

Fred Ebb, John Kander
Hello Stuart
Anyone who spends any time in New York City has New York stories. Adventures automatically occur in that remarkable, aggravating and rewarding place where anything can happen. This is one of my many stories and it's true, with no embellishments, I promise. If you have ever been in Times Square then you know how big it is. It is actually two squares: Duffy Square on the north end and Times Square on the south, which are connecting two large boulevards. Broadway and Seventh Avenue proceed southward through it and cross each other. There are seven cross streets. It's huge.

If you've ever been in Times Square then you know how busy it is. Theatres, office buildings, hotels, bars and restaurants, shops, side walk vendors, busses, trucks, taxis, cars, bicycles, horses and everywhere there are people going here, going there or standing around gawking, twenty four hours a day. It is truly a place that never sleeps.

Since I have been talking and writing and thinking about a return to New York myself, I thought it appropriate to return to a story from a past journal entry and reprint it as a gift to myself, to you, to my New York friends, to my ex New Yorker friends and to anyone planning a visit. So here is


I had a job as a relief announcer for WQXR, which was the New York Times radio station. Being a relief announcer meant that I was on call, sometimes on short notice, to fill in when one of the other announcers couldn't be there. One Sunday morning I got a phone call at 4 a.m. from the morning announcer telling me he couldn't possibly make it in to work, he lived in New Jersey, could I take the shift for him. In those days the station did not go all night, so someone had to be there to sign on the station and do the morning programs beginning at 6. So I got up, had some coffee and something to eat and left my apartment building at 5. I lived on 56th Street and 6th Avenue. As soon as I walked out the front door I could see why he couldn't get to work. There had been a major, MAJOR snow storm, one of the worst I can remember. The city was covered with snow.

I walked down 6th Avenue, crossed over to 7th and entered Times Square at the northeast corner, 48th Street. My destination was at the southwest corner, 43rd Street. I was amazed to see there was no traffic, and there hadn't been any for quite a while. There were no tire tracks or footprints in the snow. It was deep, over my ankles. I trudged diagonally right across Times Square, something one can never do at any other time, brazenly walking down the avenues and crossing the streets. In all that vast area I was the only creature moving. Even the ubiquitous pigeons were tucked in somewhere.

In the 5 to 10 minutes it took me to walk to work I was the only business man, the only proprietor, the only tourist, the only resident, the only citizen, the only human being, the only living creature, completely alone and by myself in the center of what is the busiest place in America and maybe the world. These "vagabond shoes" were straying right through "the very heart of it."

It was a strange, surreal, Fellini-esque, Doctor Zhivago, Isaac Asimov type adventure. I knew I was awake but I felt as if I was in a dream. A person simply cannot do what I was doing. I felt like an explorer on some remote frozen island. I felt like I should stick a flag in the snow, right there where Broadway crossed 44th Street and claim it for myself. I owned it. I owned Times Square.

Dana B ate- The Vagabond
Never Give Up

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Sky's The Limit

Ambition is putting a ladder against the sky.

American proverb
Hello Jen
Anyone who has ever witnessed the space shuttle taking off for the International Space Station has seen a ladder placed against the sky. In fact the space station itself is such a ladder. They both represent the goal achieved of going beyond the obvious limits, in effect, of doing the impssible.

But there are many different kinds of ladders and many forms of sky. Any enterprise which seems beyond the capabilities of the entrepreneur probably requires a lift off of some kind, and gentle or vigorous the way up is a step by step process. Even the space shuttle could not make it without some boosting along the way, so that when it finally arrives at the space station it is carrying a lot less hardware than it started out with, and that is something to ponder.

Here I am planning to move back to New York City. I walk on crutches, I have poor eyesight, I have no health insurance and not enough money to live there with New York's outlandish rents, and I don't even know how I'm going to get there. What a thoroughly impractical, hair brained, pie in the sky idea. Ah, but if I don't put up some sort of ladder and climb it I'll never get the pie.

For the astronauts getting to the space station was not the goal but all the interesting and important things that they went there to do. And so it is with me. Why New York? Why not Hackensack, or Houston or Honolulu? Because New York was my home for most of my life and I know it is filled to overflowing with the interesting and important things that I can do there. So I have my ladder set up and my foot is on the first rung.

Where's your ladder? Where's your sky?

DB - The Vagabond
Never Give Up

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sing A New Song

I have sung my swan song so many times I no longer believe it.

Dana Bate
Hello Lily
"Swan song" is a metaphorical phrase for a final gesture, effort, or performance given just before death or retirement. (Wikipedia)

I've made those sweeping dramatic gestures in the past of endings, last acts, final curtains, finishes, Usually it was done out of a feeling of disgust or dissatisfaction with what I was doing. Sometimes it was an emotional reaction, sometimes it was just the end of a contract, once or twice it was a matter of drop everything and run. Those were the necessary terminations.

Now in my golden years I don't want to think about endings. Things are never over in my mind. Everything in my life has a future to it, especially myself. Now I am more than considering, I'm planning to return to New York City where I belong. What for?

When I was a teenager I discovered I had talent as an actor. I took that talent and increased my skills to include being a broadcaster. Along the way I studied art and became a painter. There is more to learn about all of those skills. After I retired (another swan song) I became a writer, having nothing else to do.

Now, with an accumulation of creative skills, I'm living in a place where I can't use them. So the only sane and sensible thing to do is to go where I can. There are ideas in the fire to get me there. But I always have an open invitation for anyone who can help me do it.

I have things to do. I have made many investments in my future. I need to get there to collect.

DB - The Vagabond
Never Give Up

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Big Search

This is the 1,737th edition of Vagabond Journeys. You might think I'm making that up, but I'm not.

Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth.

Blaise Pascal
Hello Jon
I don't read philosophy to discover truth. I read it to discover the ideas of some great thinkers who are also looking for it. I don't know what Pascal finds so restful about it. My search generally puts me in a mental turmoil. The universe of ideas is full of unanswered questions and some of them are vital.

The is the "Merry Month of May" and I am very sad today, not just because it's gray and gloomy, but also because, as one recent commenter wrote: someone stole something from me more valuable than money, and also because there are too many unanswered questions.

Normally facing the ironies and ambiguities of life gives me a chuckle. I haven't chuckled or had a good laugh in many days, make that months. I look forward to some joy in my life. Sophocles writes that there will come a time when we will never know joy again. I summarily reject that idea with a swift and sturdy kick in the ass. I believe we need to eliminate those things that rob us of our joy, and if it has to be done with a scalpel, a bull dozer or a moving van so be it.

The search for truth should be a vigorous activity. It involves, observation, study, investigation and reason, both inductive and deductive, and it's not for the squeamish.

I've heard it said that if you could understand a great work of art, a Michelangelo statue or a Dostoyevski novel, so thoroughly that you knew it better than the artist did, the experience would lead you to truth, because you would be getting in touch with the universal spirit of inspiration.

Another way is to assume there is a total, universal truth and then start looking for ways in which it expresses itself.

Neither of those ways sound restful to me. But maybe there's a third way Pascal knows about, which can be done sitting in a recliner, on the front porch, at the beach. I must read on.

As for that something someone stole from me that's more valuable than money? Money can be replaced, and so can that something. Joy is another thing that deserves a sincere search. I believe it.

Remember, there is nothing that can stop, block, obstruct, delay, deflate or divert the blessing that is yours today.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up

Saturday, May 5, 2012

On The Boards

There's one more horizon out there, one more horizon that you have to make for yourself and let other people discover it.

Gordon Parks
Hello George

I want to go back to work. It makes no difference how good you are, if you're an artist there is always more to do, more ideas, more expressions, more experiences to describe, more truth to tell, more wisdom to share. The intelligence of the universe, of all creation, is unlimited, therefore there is no limit to the ideas which can be discovered and expressed.

I knew a broadcaster named Chester. He was very good. He was the only announcer I ever knew who could tell exactly what time it was without looking at the clock.

One day he retired. His family had grown, he had a healthy pension and some very solid investments. So off he went into the world of freedom and financial independence. It wasn't long before he was back for a visit and saying that he still had ideas inside of him that needed to come out.

I called my friend Diane last night. She and I did a season of stock together years ago. She is also living in a place, in her case Florida, that she wants to get out of. We talked of meeting up in New York and doing "The Gin Game" together. That would be a sight to see. Another friend, Charles, and I would like to do"The Dresser" some day, another sight to behold.

Me best memories are on a stage somewhere, the only place I ever felt at home. So here I am stuck in a nowhere town and itching to get out and back to New York where the auditions are. But I'm also stuck in a body that doesn't work and needs a complete overhaul. Alas, alack and woe is me.

I started painting in New York because I was encouraged to by one of my art instructors and by fellow artists. I always get a chuckle when I remember an actor I used to know who looked at the price of the paints I was using (Golden, the best acrylic paint in my opinion, and, no, they're not paying me, unless they want to, of course) and said "This is a very expensive hobby." To him anything other than acting is a hobby.

I started writing about 6 years ago. When I became unable to work as an actor because of physical problems, the only thing I had besides paints and brushes was my computer, which was a gift from a dear friend. I wrote a few sentences now and then and posted them. I'm also an avid reader. So I began to jot down quotes, and write comments about them. Then one day Linda in Washington State discovered me, told on me, people started sending me comments and that's how Vagabond Journeys was born, and now there are over 1,700 issues of it.

In my profile it used to say I'm a retired actor and broadcaster, but I realized not long ago that I am not retired as an artist so why should I say so. I am looking at the horizons I have made for myself. Ingrained into the creative process of an artist, like a tattoo, an extra rib or a sixth finger is an intense and controlling necessity to bring those horizons alive and palpitating, waiting for others to discover.

There is one more horizon, and when that is reached, there's one more, and then there's one more and then....

I'm stuck in a neighborhood I don't like, in a town I don't like, rattled with illnesses and no health insurance on a meager income and I think I going to get back to New York and start appearing on the stage, my home, again. Who are you kidding, DB?

Some day soon I'll do it. Watch me.

Dana Bate - The Vagabond
Never Give up

Friday, May 4, 2012

To The Woman

Some Day

I can't stay here. I have to leave and go somewhere. I don't feel safe. My former friend, Teresa, who continuously deceived me all those many months with no explanation and no remorse is now a visiter next door, and still deceptive and devious. She can slip past my bedroom window if the shade is down. It's fun for her.

Some people may think that I made this relationship up out of my imagination. Well one day about 2 years ago I was walking down the street with my cane. She stopped me and asked if she could drive me somewhere. I allowed her to take me the two blocks I was going. Then she offered to take me around when I needed to go somewhere. That began a relationship that lasted for almost 2 years during which once or twice a week she would take me to the supermarket, the mall, the post office, wherever I needed to go. She was always pleasant, gracious and good humored. She helped me with the seat belt, helped me in and out of the car, made sure I had a quarter for the shopping cart and helped me up to my door with the bags of groceries. Twice she came through freezing cold weather to bring me Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. What's not to love? She captured my heart. I began to think of her as a daughter. We were friends. She was my only friend in this town. I started to think about things I could do for her that might please her and be useful. I even once thought that if I sold my novels and made enough money I would buy her and her husband a house, since she so much admired the houses on the street.

Then one day I discovered that she was coming back to the house, sneaking past me in various ways to buy drugs from the dope dealer next door to me. If I was sitting on the front porch she would climb through his bedroom window. She would allow him to muscle me and insult me so that I would stay out of the way. Even after I knew from her what she was doing she kept doing it. It meant I wasn't worthy, admirable or respected enough to share in an important part of her life even if I was living next door to it. She had to deceive me. That stuck a knife in my heart. In truth, I don't know how she's going to live with it for the rest of her life.

So I moved to my new place to get away from it all, but it has followed me here.
I can t tell you how painful and frightening it is for me. Knowing, or even suspecting, that she's here brings back all the broken heart and feeling of humiliation and unimportance. The other night she met him in the car in the parking lot underneath my window to avoid seeing me. She doesn't care. I almost walked out there just to catch a glimpse of her, but I thought it might frighten her, so I didn't. Why should I love and care so much for her. There are those who tell me she's not worth it. Perhaps they're right. New wine must be put into new bottles. Teresa, I never judged you for your interest in drugs, although I would rather see a healthier activity for you. I only judged you for deceiving me. Since you probably won't read this and have blocked my emails and won't take my phone calls you don't even know you might have been forgiven. But when you are an attractive woman in your thirties it seems drugs are more important than an old man's heart.

There was something beautiful about our friendship. It was based on pure, deep, innocent affection. When I leave here I will never see you again, and you will never see me again, and that beautiful part that was cherished will be forever lost. Is that the right answer?

Dana Bate - The Vagabond
Never Give Up

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

If anyone cares


I can't stay here. I have to leave and go somewhere. I don't feel safe.

My forcer friend, Teresa, who continuously deceived me all those many months with no remorse is a customer of the dope dealer next door, and still deceptive and devious. She can slip past my bedroom window if the shade is down. It's fun.

I can t tell you how painful and frightening it is for me. Knowing, or even suspecting, that she's here brings back all the broken heart and feeling of humiliation and unimportance.

Last night she met him in the car in the parking lot underneath my window to avoid seeing me. She doesn't care. I almost walked out there just to catch a glimps of her, but I thought it might frighten her, so I didn't. Why should I love and care so much for her. There are those who tell me she's not worth it. Perhaps they're right. New wine must be put into new bottles.

I never judged her for her interest in drugs, I only judged her for deceiving me. But when you are an attractive woman in your thirties it seems drugs are more important than an old man's heart.

It's killing me.


I don't like it.

I don't like my life.

I don't like where I live. I don't like it that I am stuck in this apartment with no life outside. I don't like my neighborhood. I don't like it that I don't have even a single tree to look at out my window. I don't like the sound of car doors slamming all day. I don't like the foul moth shouting next door. I don't like being perpetually broke. I don't like being alone. I don't like the fact that nothing changes for the better. I don't like the stress I'm under. I don't like being so heavily in debt. I don't like the fact that all my efforts go nowhere. I don't like it that I get no help from this community. I don't like that I can't publish my stories or exhibit my paintings.. I don't like it that I was assigned a case worker who never showed up. I don't like it that I have received no compensation, restitution or revenge for the wrongs that have been done to me. I don't like it that I get no answers to the most important questions I ask. I don't like being pushed by circumstances to the point of rage and depression. I don't like it that my moral stand nets me nothing while the immoral thrive. I don't like pretensions, arrogance and deception. I don't like the fact that my eyesight is faulty. I don't like having to walk so far on crutches. I don't like it that I can't afford health insurance.

When I moved here it was supposed to bring me peace, but the things I moved away from, the doubts, confusion, fears, sorrow, suspicion have all followed me here. Every day is a day I don't like.

The only healthy thing for me to do is to leave here and go to a completely different place. But I can't do it. I'm stuck here.

I don't like my life. I can't take any more bad things happening to me.
I want a new life.

I can't remember the last time I felt joy.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Better Life

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.

William Jennings Bryan
Hello Frosty
I spend a lot of space in this journal urging people to use their imagination, to have good realistic dreams and to follow them. Why do I do that? Because the future is life. Imagining and achieving a better future is making a better life. Anyone who is self satisfied is denying themselves a destiny that can outshine any light they may presently be holding up to the world. Why miss the opportunity?

I've shut my eyes and am holding my nose while I keep dunking myself in a baptism of character. I'm cleansing and ridding myself of being defined by my past. I am slowly learning not to regret the things I didn't do or the advantages I didn't have. It's a waste of mental energy and it dirties up the future. I can get angry at my current lack of possibilities but feeling sorry for myself is akin to regretting. It's putting on a dunce cap of negativity.

Here I am, stuck in a dead end, drugged up, wasteland of a place desperately trying to get out and back to New York City, my only real home town. The obstacles to doing that are many and some of them huge. But when I think of what I can do there it sweetens the journey. I can be with other artists. I can learn more about painting, more about theatre. I can be with other, better writers. I can make music.

Achieving the impossible is not impossible once you've achieved it. And you destiny is not written in your past or present. It's written in your thoughts when clearly visualized and lit by the fire of enthusiasm.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up