Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Inner Resources

Got a wry response (always a cause for celebration!) to my last post on ego surfing that went, “Okay, I have Googled myself. I was as boring on-line as I am in real life. I was hoping for more.”

Aren’t we all?

In response, I quoted two writers I admire and offered what I hoped would be sage encouragement:  “I'm not in the advice business, but if you really hope for more from life, my advice is to do something about it. Like right away. Good luck.”

And that, friends, is why I am not Dear Abby. Although I have opinions and the occasional insight (dutifully reproduced in this space when I’m not too busy writing other stuff), my advice generally stinks. To me, self help really is self help. And when I’m bored with myself, I usually fall back upon my imagination. I mean, what else is there?

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) "Ever to confess you're bored
means you have no
Inner Resources." I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as Achilles,
who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into the mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.
--John Berryman, “Dream Song 14”

Mark Twain once said: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Personally, I don’t think it’s ever too late to try this. But to all three of you out there who may be reading this, please do not misinterpret my meaning. I’m not saying you should try hang-gliding, mountain-climbing, or deep-sea diving (though I have done a little of the latter and it’s really fun). What I am saying is just go for it. Do what you want to do with your life. It’s the only one you get.

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