Do it anyway

How to write when you don't feel like doing it?  When you don't have anything to say?  When you'd rather just go back to bed?  Do it anyway.  The same is true of anything that you want to get better at: do it anyway.  I once heard Yo Yo Ma responding to a question about how it felt to be a genius.  Now, he may well be, but that is not the point, his point anyway.  He said, to the best of my recollection, You'd be pretty good, too, if you had practiced--and still practice--six hours a day, every day, since you were six years old.  That's a lot of hours.  Think of the hours you've wasted doing whatever, or doing nothing, or doing things that you hate, when you could have been practicing what you love.  Maybe you've heard about Malcolm Gladwell's theory of greatness, the need to practice something, anything for ten thousand hours.  It all starts with one hour.  The great news is that there is still time.  That time is now.  Pick up that pen or trombone or tap shoe or paintbrush or instrument of choice and get to work.  I am!



Salt Life

I heard a term this weekend that was new to me but immediately struck a chord, Salt Life.  Some of you may tell me what I've since learned, that it's really an ad for a company that sells beach apparel, and that's fine, but that's not why it spoke to me.  Salt Life says to me essential, elemental, organic, tidal, and oriented toward the sea.  It's the best encapsulation I've heard to date of the pull I feel in my nose, my blood, and my spirit.  It says to me that so much that we fret about is beside the point, is pointless, is futile.  The tide will go out, the tide will wash in.  Some months, some years, the tides will be higher than others, but the cycle will continue.  Rather than making me feel puny, which I suppose is an option, it makes me feel part of something larger, something better, something more lasting than the structures we erect, be they in our minds or in front of our eyes.  Feel the pull?  Say aye.


Howdy, y'all!

Why are people so much friendlier in the south?  I spent four days driving three rental cars (don't ask; it's not a pretty story) around Virginia, DC, and Maryland, and given the number of troubles and wrong turns I accumulated in that time, I was amazed and gladdened and downright thrilled by the hordes of kind souls who assisted me in ways big and small.  Everyone says hello.  Everyone makes eye contact.  Everyone is willing to take a moment of precious time to hear your request and then fulfill it.  A waitress offered to take me home with her because she was afraid I was too tired to drive.  A man broke the speed limit (and perhaps the space-time continuum) to get to me to jumpstart my car so I could get to my appointment.  Three different people walked me to the places I was seeking, though perhaps that speaks to my general air of befuddlement at that point, but still, they walked me there.  People who didn't know an answer to my question looked so mournful that I feared they might cry.  Another man gave me a guided tour since the assigned person was sick, and this meant that he had to leave the information desk unattended.  On the flip side people did not honk when I was in the wrong lane, again.  People did not flip me off when I made a u-turn, again.  More people wished me a happy holiday than I swear would have if I'd been in a roomful of people I have known for years, perhaps driven by Boston's ultra-PC consciousness that this might not be my holiday, but honestly, who cares?  It was nice to hear it.  It was nice to experience it.  It's a good thing that the warmer weather is finally coming here, or else the siren call of the south might just be too loud to ignore.  Happy May!



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