The cool breezes of 74 degrees are blowing through the Writing Porch. A placid peaceful rain is falling. Monday has arrived again and all is right with the world. Summer is scampering away from us. We may not miss this Herculean Hot summer as much as we have missed summers in times past. As I have regularly gotten a bit older I have learned one valuable lesson…showing up is half..or more…of the battle. So often our fears and misconceptions and lack of direction…prevent us from simply showing up. As an employee for most of my life, I discovered that the best habit to develop was to report for work on a regular basis. You can learn most any job duty…if you are there to be taught it. If you are not there…failure is the result. As a writer, I plan on writing every day. As a photographer, I take photos daily. As a Walker, I walk on a daily basis. Good routines make for a good life.
When I first became a manager at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale I was 29 years old. I thought that was old…but I have found that I was wrong. Each day for the first year when it was time to report for my management job…I was nauseous. I was afraid that I was not up to the task and that I probably would be a failure. One of my first duties when I arrived at Building Services as the Assistant Superintendent…was to meet with the Superintendent. This was a daily affair and I dreaded it. He was a serious man with little humor when it came to me. I took copious notes to ensure that I would not forget his instructions to me…and I was determined to succeed. I knew that I had three people; MJ and Aaron and Jonathon who were counting on me to not fail. I held the position for over twelve years before becoming the Superintendent.
Vincent van Gogh sold only one painting during his tumultuous life. He painted 900. He was mentally ill…but he persevered and today is one of the most renowned artists in the world. Vincent cut off his left ear…but he did not stop painting. I wrote the other day that Art Is Life…and it is. Many of us must do our Art…as it is like breathing to us. The value of Art has been diminished at times during our human history…especially in the Industrial Age and our current higher education of credentialing rather than education. The facts are that every academic discipline is resting on the human family’ love and hunger and thirst for Art. Our Bible was written by men who were inspired by their Art of Faith and the desire to see the unseen. Architecture illustrates the physical manifestation of the sublime. Geology is the study of the artistic mystery of our earth. History records the struggle and progress of the human family as we travel back to our mutual home.
Strive to be present in the unfolding of your life. We must remove our noses from our iPhones and iPads…and look around at the breathtaking beauty of our family and colleagues and friends…our home and our sense of place. Leave your comfort zone and try something new and in the trying…renew yourself on our short walk back the Jerusalem…