Another Work in Progress

Today, after another painful physio session, I wax philosophical once again at the bus stop.

As a fatalist, who believes in a predetermined destiny of most things, I am coming to realize that I am not being prepared for any future thing.  There is no purpose to my life in that I am going anywhere.  Instead, I am constantly being changed right on the spot, day by day.  God is a creator.  He is always creating something new.   I am always on the potters wheel, constantly being molded by Gods’ loving hands.  Never to be a finished project, but a work in progress, constantly recreated.  There is no end goal.  If I look at the world around me, all things are constantly being renewed, every single second.

I used to think events had something to teach me, and yes, this is still sometimes true.  Until I experienced constant pain.  Pain can work on you only so far, and then you burn out.  The universe is not a school.  The universe is creativity, bringing things into being.  I can move forward by learning things from my experiences, but the goal is not to build character.  There is no goal.  It is just constant change.

I have learned that you must fight to win, and persevere, but there are times to step back and let it go where it will.  This episode is teaching me to turn inside out, to see the world with gratitude and love, despite the screaming banshee in my legs always calling me back to myself.  I am part of a much larger thing.

It is a time for me to let God finally have rule over my life.  To let Him flow through me, making every moment a God moment.  A love moment, seeing with gratitude and wonder, awe and reverence for all that is evolving.

I am part of a story.  The story of the universe.  A story of creativity.

On the way home I rescued a large fluffy yellow caterpillar from undulating out into traffic and placed him back into a grassy field.  I wonder what kind of butterfly he will become?  Another work in progress.


Behind the bus stop near my physiotherapist (yes, I am back at it again – but that is another story),  a huge excavation is taking place.  A deep rectangular hole has been sliced out of the ground, a towering lattice work crane sits at its center.  Silent today as it is Saturday, all that weekday busyness is enclosed securely behind a chain linked fence, that bulges right up to where I am standing.

At the foot of the pole that marks this as a bus stop, there stands a very old tree.  Much mangled from the construction ensuing around it, and probably neglected for countless years before, it manages to survive.  Some bark has been stripped off, there are dead branches, and the leaves are dusty.  Yet it presses against all the stuff around it, new growth pushing up and beyond the overhead telephone wires to the sky and sun.  At its base a mess of weeds and wildflowers all tangled up in bits of metal and broken concrete, but growing so lush and blooming as to almost conceal the debris.

On this hot summer day, I appreciate the beauty of the flowers and the shade of the tree.  It reminded me to be grateful.  I also appreciated the fact that no matter how we try to demolish it all, a tiny shoot will soon push up through the cracks and greenery reappears.

But it occurred to me that it is not enough to feel gratitude only as the moment presents itself to me.

We have lots of time to think at our bus stops, and get a good tan while at it.

I realized I need to put God into every moment, so He flows through my entire life, not just parts of it.

I believe that the entire universe operates on the principle of love.  Not the mushy kind of love.  Love as the creative life generating force.  The tree of life. Love as abundance, creation, imagination, life, goodness, joy. The love that endures and perseveres. I call this love God.  Not the omnipotent, controlling, Kingdom type God, of punishment and whatever else is so off putting about peoples ideas of God.  But a God of love.

This love needs to fill my being so I am always in it, and not just reminded of it on rare occasions.

It is a good thing our buses take so long to arrive.

Silver Lining

Life truly is a journey.  I’m not talking about the grand sweep of things from birth to death, or the lofty goals and plans we have, but the simplest of things like buying a pair of socks can end up being a grand adventure.

Happy outcomes (or not) are the result of many miles fraught with obstacles or surprises.  Even in Star Trek with the ability to go from point A to point B in seconds with a simple “Beam me up Scotty”, can be quite the experience.

We love drama and get caught up in the negative details of our trip, forgetting the outcome.  A great story is born from all the negative things that happened.  I have learned however, that what you focus on, you get more of.  Yes, some cliches are true!

Anything we attempt will be a process.  The most mundane activities, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, or buying a new piece of furniture can become a melodrama of epic proportions worthy of Hollywood movies (and often become such) and enable some lengthy conversations, with each person trying to upstage the other.

Some of us have become intolerant, entitled, perfectionist spoiled brats where not only the outcome must be perfect, but all the steps to it as well.  To expect your journey and destination to be flawless results in you having a screaming temper tantrum in McDonalds because they forgot to give you ketchup with your fries (with your meltdown on the internet with thousands of views – and comments).

Now some things truly are tragic – they go badly from the beginning and get worse from there.  I can empathize.  We all have stories!  No matter how much we planned, researched and prepared, there can be the unexpected.  And, sometimes life just knows better than us and blocks us savagely from certain directions.  But we seem to have lost our ability to be accepting and flexible.  More of us are making bigger deals out of lesser things.  And ditto, I am afraid, of making lesser deals out of bigger things!

There is a lot we can learn from our little journeys and get satisfactory outcomes.  We can avoid similar pitfalls in our next outing, though there will be new ones.  We can help others along the same path.  We can grow and learn and become a bit more patient and understanding.  Or we can remain that bull in the china shop, demanding our way at the expense of everything and everyone else.

To paraphrase a Rolling Stones song “You can’t always get what you want . . . but you can get what you need”.

I recently bought a flute.  Of course there were some obstacles and some interesting fine print details.  So it was not the flute I expected to get but it is good enough.  I got what I needed.  The one I wanted I can now save longer for, instead of taking on financing and I can wait for a sale.  All the while I still have a flute to play, which is the best outcome for now.  If I had of held out for everything to be perfect I would have nothing.  Which is kind of stupid, since what I want to do is play.

It is rare, but it does happen that I get exactly what I want easily.  Once I wanted to purchase a leather coat.  I hesitated for a long while as they can be quite expensive and yet, there the coat was, front row and center of the very first store I went to.  It fit me perfectly and was on sale.  This was so surprising that the clerk said she was obligated to try and sell it to me anyhow, which was the most comical transaction I have ever made.

Unfortunately, some of the bigger things in life have not been so easy.  Like a career.  Or a mate.  Life kind of steered me in all directions on those ones.

I find now that if I don’t make a big story out of the negative things in my journey, I have less of them.  I learn from them, but I don’t need to share them.  I am sure most people like to hear all the good things that happen along the way.  I know I do!  I like to be amazed at synchronicity, it thrills me!

As I get older, I want my life to be more positive and interesting because of happy coincidences.  I do read with envy those people who seem to have wondrous synchronicities happen to them with better than expected outcomes.  I think it all comes from your attitude about your journey, whether it be buying a pair of socks, planning a wedding, all the way to designing your future.  Keep looking for the silver lining and you’ll find a gold one instead.

I know.  I am a dreamer.  So be it.

What You Do Best

A couple of years ago I attended a Comiccon to visit the artists gallery, mistakenly believing that would be one of the main attractions at such an event.  Instead there were two rows of tables and booths shoved at the very back of the huge venue, sort of an after thought.

As I walked up and down the rows several times, I was greatly disappointed.  Not that the art wasn’t good, some artists are awesome, but there was nothing truly unique.

One young woman however, at a tiny booth wedged between some heavy weights, had some truly beautiful cat drawings.  Okay, I am partial to all things cat, but she captured the essence of a cat, its unique personality, not just the poses.  This is a special talent, to be able to pull out character from a drawing, so it speaks to you.  She displayed them rather apologetically, crowding them out with Zombies, several comic books she was developing.  I bought one of her cat prints, and she insisted I take several Zombie prints free, to promote her comic book.  I told her Zombies have zero appeal to me, but her cat illustrations are awesome.  She was disappointed.

She was ignoring her real talent in hopes of making it big in the comics world.  Agreed, there is huge money making potential in comics and graphic art novels.  The competition is fierce but many are making it.  However, her artistic ability was way elsewhere.

Now some artists want to make it big, in any way they can.  This is okay.  But some artists want to be other than they are.  I read that Noble, who did the backgrounds for Wile E. Coyote and Marvin the Martian always wanted to be a fine artist, even though we are wowed by his futuristic landscapes.

I believe in being true to yourself, that the world ultimately recognizes authenticity.  Does not mean it’ll like it, or reward  you for it.  Ones style however is unique.

I am guilty of wanting to be other than I am, and have, in my youth, and in age, naively gone off on wild tangents other than concentrating on my strengths.  It is good to learn new things, but if it makes you frustrated with your style then something is wrong.

Is it better to be a starving authentic artist or a wealthy fake?  Ha, ha.

It is way better to concentrate on developing your strengths than it is to try and fix weaknesses.  This applies to all things in life, not just creative pursuits.  We spend way too much time worrying about our faults, when we all have quite interesting abilities.  And our own style.

In such a critical, fault finding world, I applaud those who wish to shine at what they do best.  For true happiness is found there.