Sunday, January 22, 2012

Editor's Choice

How vivid the memories of the Bedtime Story. Nestled under the covers, my mother would come and read from a marvelous leather-bound and gilded edition of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. Kipling revealed the secrets of how things came to be as they are. Many times a question of survival, often linked to behavior, but always about adaptation. And there were subconscious lessons to be learned in the tales of how the elephant got his trunk, how the leopard got his spots, or how the camel got his hump.

I recently finished Saul Bellow's Henderson, The Rain King. I share this passasge from King Dahfu of the Wariri:

"...he began to talk again about the connection between the body and the brain. He said “It’s all a matter of having a desirable model in the cortex. For the noble self-conception is everything. For as conception is, so the fellow is. Put differently, you are the flesh as your soul is. And in the manner described a fellow really is the artist of himself. Body and face are secretly painted by the spirit of man, working through the cortex and brain ventricles three and four, which direct the flow of vital energy all over. And this explains what I am so excited about, Henderson-Sungo.”

This struck me as an important idea if one finds oneself in a situation where a change is desirable. You do not have to play out the story that may seem written for you. You can be both the editor, and the artist of yourself.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Attempting The Hat Trick

I have found over time that one tends to stop making resolutions as they are infrequently kept, tending to reinforce a sense of failure. Take exercising for example. It's hard to get started. But it's a lot harder after you've stopped. 

The key is not to beat yourself up over setbacks. Take each day new, fresh and untarnished. So while the Hat Trick never worked for Bullwinkle, I too shall attempt it again, and in no particular order:

1) Seek truth

2) Maintain balance

3) Love more

As I laid down last night after resolving the above, it struck me how similar these were to the 3 goals my father had for issuing us into the world:

1) Ride

2) Shoot straight

3) Tell the truth

Times change, but not by much. Or if you prefer - Yard by Yard, life is hard. But Inch by Inch, life's a cinch. So when times are hard, regroup. Take life in small measure. Just don't quit.