From the Editor’s Perch

Hippies1

Following Our Bliss

“The reality is embarrassing.  Being me just doesn’t seem to get me anywhere.”

– John, incarcerated sex offender

I had an acquaintance years ago when I was much younger who was upset one day because he’d just been fired from his job at a wine shop.  I tried consoling him with those sorts of things you say, such as, ‘these things will happen’ and ‘there are other jobs out there’, to which he replied:  “But I’ve been fired from every job I’ve ever held!”  My older brother at the time told me, “There are a lot of people like this.  It’s very sad.”  (“They’ll work for cheap!” years later I read a small construction company owner saying.)

My favorite character in Sherman Alexie’s new book of collected stories, “Blasphemy” is Thomas Builds-the- Fire.  His mission in life is to tell stories.  He’s kind, gentle, wise, and tells pretty good stories.  But no one in the tribe wants to/will listen.  God seemingly has granted Thomas Builds-the- Fire the urge, but neglected the audience.

Does this strike a little close?

Then the Bible tells us about Jonah, who really doesn’t want to do what the Lord wants him to do.  Ordered by God to go to the city of Nineveh to prophesy against it “for their great wickedness is come up before me,”  Wikipedia   So he runs away to sea, only to be swallowed by a whale and spit back out to face God’s admonition.  It seems there is no escaping one’s Duty.

Not knowing how to end this, I’ll leave you with this anonymous note copied from an elderly man’s Facebook comment:  “It was great to see you in Great Falls, even if it was for a short time. I missed Saturday as Merrillee slipped on the ice on our way to MPAB showcases and put her should out of joint. More than 10 hours in the ER followed.”

The point?  Life is oftentimes much more what happens to us, than what we intend.

Postscript: One reader found this essay a confusing “stream of consciousness”.  What I’d intended to point out by retailing these various anecdotes was that conducting your life by “following your bliss” is a little like driving with your eyes closed.  Reality doesn’t know (or care) anything about your ‘bliss’.  You very well might run into things if you drive  with your eyes closed!

This idea of following one’s bliss is taken over from the Christian notion of allowing Christ to run your life – only Christ has been removed, and one’s Self has been placed in the driver’s seat.   (And no one is watching out for you.)   Certainly a person should listen to themselves.  (If you don’t, who will?)  But then, the wiser more mature person (in my view) listens to others.  A mature person realizes that life is a collaboration.  You give a present; then you listen to see if that person really wanted it.

Hippies2

Photos taken from Google Images

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One Response to “From the Editor’s Perch”

  1. filmcamera999 Says:

    Reblogged this on filmcamera999.

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