I don't remember the circumstances that I came upon this quote and thought it was one I might use to navigate through life.
My mom was big on quotes and self-help books.
The halls of learning, aka schools and classrooms always had quotes from learned and amazing people strewn across the walls.
I guess in hopes that we might soak it in.
The church had quotes, mostly biblical all over the place, although I doubt that's where I came upon this one, though there is the reference to heaven, so.....
The point being, that for the better part of my developmental stage, (as if we should stop developing), I was indoctrinated in the mostly Western concept that pushing oneself, testing one's limits, etc. is a good and worthy goal. Hard work and industry was good, Animal Farm and commie-red bastards be damned.
Actually, upon a few moments' inspection, the concept is hardly Western.
It's just skewed differently.
Skye and I recently listened to Siddhartha and the whole journey of Siddhartha, the son of a Brahmin involved in self-discovery and testing one's limitations.
And I believe this to be beneficial endeavor, both to one's self-fulfillment and to human-kind, for better or for worse.
That being said, I have found that self-preservation and self-awareness are also to be valued, although I've had to pick up those qualities on my own.
My mother, as well as other well-meaning mentors who helped get various ideas swirling about my head during those "formative" years, also harkened to the ideals of Nietzsche "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." as well as a plethora of others
"A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave." - Benjamin Franklin
'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.” Thomas Edison (1847-1931);
“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826);
3rd U.S. President
I don't consider myself a workaholic or a perfectionist, although there are those that would argue that statement.
Getting There from Here; More Than 10,000 Miles
It was only a couple of months ago that I was finishing decorating a movie.
I had sworn off decorating more than once, but here I was doing it again. And it wasn't a bad experience by a long-shot.
But like so many things I take on, I didn't make it easy for myself, and even though it is totally pertinent to this blog post, I won't go into it right now.
I will tell you this, decorating a feature film can really take it out of you.
So when I was packing us up and getting ready to drive across the country to get to Skye's Shakespeare camp, I was already beat down and done and ready for a vacation.
That didn't happen.
In its place a monster/amazing/soul-searching/physical/mind-bending road trip happened.
A lot of people would think that camping up in the High Sierras for a couple of weeks, followed by driving up the Highway 1 on the California Coast, couldn't be anything but a vacation.
And then there was a week at Burning Man and another cross-country road-trip that included time in Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore and then "idle-time" in New Orleans, and one wouldn't be faulted with thinking that that was one hell of a vacation, or even stay-cation.
It can be seen as exhausting, especially given that the whole time I am doing my best to home-school our 15-year-old daughter.
"The Emperor Has No Clothes", "Cutting Off One's Nose to Spite One's Face", "Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater" and other Well-Meaning, Yet Distracting Pithy Maxims
Or are they?
And that is the next part of my plight, a "First World Dilemma" , but one that might have real trickle-down impact.
If you're still reading at this point, you might be as much as an endurance junkie as I am.
But seriously, actually I was being serious....
When we started out on our home-school Odyssey, I had no intention on re-inventing the wheel or going off-the-grid or becoming a community activist or reawakening my childhood/adolescent/young-adult circus fantasies.
Once you take off the emerald glasses, oh all sorts of things might happen.
I Burn, I Spin, and, What That Means Might Be Beyond Me
I guess I'm a Burner.
I've been to Burning Man twice.
I've been to a few regional burns.
But I've never "burned" much. I mean in some "burners" sense of things. I haven't spun fire, although I'm on the cusp of that on a lot of levels. I haven't volunteered as much as I would like.
I embrace the community aspects, to ridiculous levels.
And I do spin.
I juggle; I hoop; and in a non-burner concept I spin when I roll jui-jitsu. It's a spin, even if it's not what burners think of as spinning.
In the same way that juggling, hooping, yoga, and various aerial arts push you to think in 3-dimensional and beyond terms, so does jui-jitsu.
I have been training in Brazilian jujitsu for a long time now.
Almost 20 years, which freaks me out to say the least.
When I started, there were only schools in Los Angeles and New York, so when I went on location, I had to be OK with a Judo or wrestling studio.
And I was fine with that for a while. But it became a drag and I eventually gave it up.
For a few years and then I went back at it. And even then it wasn't easy.
My semi-nomadic life meant that I was never at a studio long enough to earn a belt.
When I bounced down to Baton Rouge, I ran into a Machado Bros, completely by accident. I had been given the name of a different studio, but a google-search and gut-feeling prompted me to go to AFC, American Fight Club.
As it turned out we were both "Old school Machado Vets" , so when he put this brown belt on me. It felt good. It felt deserved. The Atlanta crew I had been training with had more than hinted at giving me one.
At the end of the day, it really made sense to get it from Joe.
I want to go into this more but back to burning/spinning to make sense.
I did the vertical/small-space farming when we were in LA.
I had a great time, but swore that our next house purchase would be a turn-key condo that could be rented out easily if we weren't there.
We've committed to that to an extant in our latest rental in Atlanta.
But I still couldn't resist buying a worm farm and already I'm looking into friends who have parcels where I might plant.
I could go on about my revelations and reservations, but I think I've rambled on enough.