I’ve been using a creative visualization app to start my day; and every day it alerts me with what it calls “Inspirational Quotes” -- but somehow every time I see those words, all I can think of is a sketch that Stan Freberg wrote for his album The Unites States of America, Part One, in which Tom Jefferson tries to get Ben Franklin to sign the Declaration of Independence, only to have Franklin continually put him off with one of his new “Wise Sayings.”
“Ohhhhh, yeah, you go to a few ‘harmless’ parties, sign a few ‘harmless’ petitions and forget all about it! -- Next thing you know you get hauled up before a committee!”
“What are you so surly about?”
“Surly to bed and surly to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy an---”
“Yeah, yeah, all right all right, will you knock off the one-line jokes?”
That’s Stan Freberg rewriting American History for you. Jefferson, taken aback by the barrage of non sequitors, simply asks: “Wise sayings?” Franklin responds, “Yeah, I call ‘em ‘Wiiiiiiiiise Sayings.’”
So, my “Wiiiiiiiise Saying” for today was this:
“Being healthy is feeling the same way as little children feel. Little children are bursting with energy every day. Their bodies feel light and flexible; moving is effortless. They're light on their feet. Their minds are clear; they're happy, and free of worry and stress. They sleep deeply and peacefully every night, and they wake up feeling completely refreshed, as if with a brand-new body. They feel passionate and excited about every new day. Look at little children and you will see what being healthy really means. It is the way you used to feel, and the way you should still feel.”
I’m certain that the person writing the statement doesn’t mean that we should all start acting like babies, and toss our responsibilities to the wind; on the other hand that last sentence packs a punch that is worth noting.
Remembering feeling that way, and knowing that I didn’t feel that way anymore; this was a key note in my bitterness for a long time, and is probably the hardest thing for me to let go of, even now that I have started to get some of the spring back into my step. You look back on all the people who stole your life, who bullied you and bled you, and you can’t, at least I can’t, help but feel some resentment: right now, a chief target for my misbegotten bitterness is my last boss, a woman with the Spiritual Life of a tapeworm who liked nothing better than to drain all the Joy out of everything and everyone around her and to spend every minute of her day trying to reduce everyone to her level. You see? It’s all true, but I shouldn’t still be harboring bitterness over it. It doesn’t do me any good, and she’ll never change until someone drops a house on her. It’s something that I need to put behind me.
Lucky are the people who never have their Sense of Wonder broken, leached, stolen or bought by the Forces of Evil at play in our daily lives. Luckier still are the ones who are nearly beaten down, nearly exhausted, but who somehow, with help, manage to get it back.
It’s a daily struggle, and I guess the Zen message is Not to Struggle, but to withdraw and Breathe Deep, to let the struggle pass you by and burn itself out, to place yourself above it.
And now I have some fiction to write. Type at you later.