Have you ever wondered about how one day you can be on top of the world, thinking you are the greatest author the world has seen (move over Faulkner, Shakespeare and Stephen King), love your family, and wish everyone was as lucky as you; and then the next day something stupid happens: you find a dumb mispelling in your greatest novel, or your computer crashes with fifteen short stories, three novels and all your family pictures from the last three years, or whatever—it would be better if you picked—and suddenly you’re ready to eat ice cream until you pop and watch movies all day, or maybe, like Whitney Houston, you take a hot bath and . . . .
Surviving today can sometimes be difficult, even if you’re a great success. Just look at Whitney Houston. Artists might be at the far end of fragile because they put their guts out on the street for people to see, and sometimes trounce upon, with cleats. Artists want people to feel the same way they do about important matters. They look at things differently, and allow us to see the world for what it really is, instead of what it appears to be. They touch us deep inside; make us cry or laugh. They create their intuitive placard about life and hope we “get it.”
The problem arises when almost everyone is moved and praises the artist. It’s not a problem for their art, their placard, but for their very fragile nature, on being a human. The praise is addictive and they want more, each time striving for better, more, sometimes turning to drugs to get that high they got after that first “discovery,” when everyone loved their art and told them so.
Think of hitting notes like Whitney, as clear and steady and heartfelt as a spring sunrise. If you could do that, feel that rush, know how it moved others, wouldn’t you long to do it over and over?
You don’t have to be an artist. Think of the soldier on the battlefield—some might say as far from art as you can get. He is praised for killing others quickly, efficiently, and without complaining. So when he does his job well, he also gains recognition with medals and promotions, parties, and then . . . when it all stops and he comes home, everything hits bottom. It’s no wonder these soldiers have depression and psychiatric problems, aside from the fact that they were committing something that before their military days was considered murder. How in hell can we continue to force young people to do this? Whose idea was THAT?
Bottom line—we are all fragile emotionally, and must practice some self-praise on a daily basis to get through the rough times. Meditate, exercise, pray, do yoga, walk with music in your ears—something positive. If you feel you are doing something wrong, negative, stop it. Change. Love yourself first. And don’t take yourself so seriously. Don’t dwell on yourself; make sure you know you are an okay person, failures or not. Time will prove you right. Maybe even tomorrow.
I’m singing in the rain, just . . . .
Dan’s War is an award-winning techno-thriller with heart, about the end of world oil . . . in two weeks. Cajuns and one lone computer geek try to save us against an ecofanatic and his army.
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