I just sort of suspect that I’m not the first person to think about the many differences in us human beings. Any spectrum you choose, we’re all different. Politically, ideologically, physically, athletically, artistically, we could go on forever, we are all different.
I spent a lot of time thinking about what makes me tick, whether I am in the norm, and what the hell is that norm exactly. I believe this trait of interest in exploring the inner realm comes from my childhood. Either I inherited it, or my early environment taught me that it was a skill as important as any other survival skills.
I once saw a poster on the door of the school library. It read,” If you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing.” That my friends, is going to be the deep topic of my very serious morning meanderings today.
Singing after all, it just like talking only you change the pitch and the rhythm of your voice. Dancing is just a series of steps, and again to a differing rhythm and patterns. Now whether everybody can be a great singer or a great dancer is another matter. Even with lots of practice some Olympic athletes are better than others. Even among accomplished singers and dancers some are greater than others. We differ in things we’re good at, we differ in our areas of interest, we differ in what we like, what we spend our time doing, and we differ in what makes each one of us feel good. Yes, you can generalize that we all like to be happy, that we all like to feel good, that we all avoid putting our hand on a hot stove. But even still, there are many differences.
With all of these many differences, comes a challenge of accepting one another, of seeing someone who is a little different or very different as just as human or worthwhile as we are. The greater the difference, the greater the challenge becomes to still accept that person, be it murderer, rapist, an atheist, someone who believes in abortion, or someone who has a different sexual orientation than we do.
But don’t worry all of you faithful readers, I am going to keep it light. What I want to talk about is what makes me right. My Dictaphone chose the wrong right, But yes there are also those times when I firmly believe I am right. But the question this morning is of all the ways I can start my day, why do I choose a writing? There, the little gremlin inside my laptop who faithfully translates my words into print, finally got it right. Correct?
So I could add to the library poster another line that says,”If you can talk, you can write.” Or,”If you are alive, you have a story.” I believe both of those statements firmly. It may not be award-winning writing, it may not be an interesting story, but anyone can write. Everyone has a story. The big difference is, not everybody wants to, and not everybody enjoys it, not everybody feels the need or the importance or the drive.
I once read something my daughter Jewel wrote. She put into words what I had believe all my life and apparently had passed onto her. She said, “I don’t so much write songs or poetry because I want to, for me it’s a matter of necessity, I have to do it to stay alive.” Sorry Jewel for paraphrasing what I read probably almost 20 years ago.
I love the camping metaphor. There are so many aspects of it that you can apply to life. Go out camping with family or friends and just watch how everybody spends their free time. When there are no tools or toys or electronic distractions or memorizing rituals and routines, it is interesting to watch what people do, what interests them. You can learn a lot by observing. One kid climbs a tree. One adult walks down the riverbank. Kid starts building a fort, or makes a boat. Another adult whittles, or makes a basket, or writes a new song. Some stick with what they’re doing, some keep trying new things. Others get bored and complain. I’m never going to take them camping again.
So part of my lifetime research and what makes me tick, has been what makes me love to write; prose, poetry or songs. Those parts of my personality or similar to that part of me that loves to perform, share my visual arts or my performing arts with others.
Okay. I’m good for another day. Just back from the outhouse. Going to the outhouse gives you a good opportunity to get in touch with the morning, to see what the day has in store for you. Sort of like turning on the weather channel, except the outdoors is your channel, and you are the weatherman. That’s another thing about going camping with people you learn a lot about their personal habits, Yes, even going to the outhouse. But all of that is going to be in my next bestseller,” The Wilderness Outhouse”.
Some of the reasons that pop into my head about my need to share what I do with others are the need for attention, need for validation, that I have something somebody else would want, the need to belong, to feel important, the need to believe I’m special. My songs in my heart are something precious and worth sharing with others.
I could say other things such as sharing with others, filling the needs of others, bringing them the experiences they would otherwise miss out on, passing on my legacy, my heritage, part of my spiritual and emotional mission on this earth. It’s a major part of who I am and what gives me joy. Where I find my passion, how I find the fuel to keep my spark alive. Probably most of these reasons would apply one time or another.
You got all of those people that are too complicated. Those people who see things more simply and don’t feel the need or the drive to dig as deeply to see what makes them tick. Ask someone like that why they do what they do and they’re liable to say after they shrug and kind of look at you like they don’t really understand what the hell you’re talking about, “well I never really thought about it, I guess just cause it makes me feel good because I want to.” And you know what, their answer is just as good as anyone else’s.
I try to be that man of few words, deep thoughts and simple answers most of my life. One who didn’t wreck his brain to figure out why he was the way he was. I learned early on that all of that can be pretty painful. The blocking it all out and trying to be someone I wasn’t didn’t work real good either. Not just trying to figure out what makes me tick and accept it, and love it. And as I figure it out, I like to pass it on, just in case it might make other people trying to figure out what makes them tick a little easier.
So why am I sitting here in this remote cabin in the middle of the beautiful quiet wilderness watching a sunrise over the spectacular mountains writing? Staring at the screen of my Mac computer. All the while going outside frequently, looking out my east and south windows, watching the colors change, feeling and believing that I’m part of this beautiful valley. If you were to ask me I think I would say.” I guess because it makes me feel good, because I want to”.
I hope you can spend a good part of every day doing what makes you feel good, doing what you want to do.