Tuesday, September 16, 2014

life on the farm, lower case

You know what the problem is?  Or at least what one of the really really big problems is?  Everyone wanting to BE someone, something, someone.  I don't mean internally, I mean externally -- something someone else can recognize.  Leader, admired, recognized.

I think some of us have something within us that we have to do, and sometimes it is plural:  somethings.  Horses burn for me.  & I have to write.  I have to get away from people.  And that may not be true of everyone, I don't know.  But it really doesn't matter.

The key is a quote I ran into a long time ago:  "[Have] the courage to be an absolute nobody" (JD Salinger).  That doesn't mean you aren't anybody, it only means no one needs recognize that you are somebody.

It isn't that your life won't touch people, just that you don't live for the acknowledgement that you touched.  Come on, if you touched, you know it.  Or maybe not because you lived in your integrity and you don't have to have applause to feel alive:  you ARE alive.  Like when you die, no one need come to the funeral.  When I die, no one need come.

I ran into a photo today.  It was a first cousin's child as a very young child standing on the back porch of my house.  I would have been in my teens at the time.  My mom had found this teeny tiny bikini bathing suit with flower pot boobies and my cousin had tried it on.  She was not two yet.  And you couldn't really see the suit in the photo and yet I recognized it and in that moment everything that was my mother was with me again.

It isn't the big things.  It isn't the little things.  It isn't the bathing suit or the photograph.  It isn't the things at all.  It is the essence. 

I don't need to be the world's greatest horseman.  I just need to be a better horseman today than yesterday.  And things like cooking, they evolve instead of any hierarchical thing.  Nothing has to be perfect.  The small things don't all have to get done.  Do what you do with some love and some quality.

You know, when people try to make you smaller than you are, less important, devalued, that is not so much of a problem because you feel that and rebel.  "No, this isn't so," you know in your soul even when you are afraid it might be true.  But when people try to make you be more, be big, be a hero ("Billy don't be a hero") -- that's when people lose themselves.  And sometimes they never get themselves back and need fantasy islands for the rest of their lives.

There are things that stand on their own and things that don't.  And when someone can do something that stands on its own, even if you don't like that person, even if you hate them, that person will get your respect -- that is IF you can do that thing on your own too.  Because you know what that is. 

There are things that are just postures with no substance behind them, play acting.  And there is no respect there.  Only a facade.  Only dry ice after it has vaporized.

This is JD Salinger's Franny again:  "I’m just sick of ego, ego, ego. My own and everybody else’s. I’m sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting. It’s disgusting."

Come on, we all know them, and most ARE them, the people who are more concerned with the appearance of being a genius than actually being a genius.  Or the appearance of being magnanimous than actually being magnanimous.  With appearance rather than being.  No amount of posing can substitute for substance.

People get attracted to substance then they get scared by it.  And it is a hard thing, and a sharp thing.  But substance is also horse's breath, and getting clean after being really dirty, and cheesecake  It is the sleep of Morpheus and sunrise/high noon/sunset/dark and a tune.  A home cooked dinner and home made bread.  And chocolate.

And love without punctuation   And home.

And life on the farm, lower case

1 comment:

SheilaG said...