Okay, so I’m consistently predictable. The General asked about my day last night and whether or not Andrea and Kevin followed me to work. They had business on the Round Rock side of Austin and needed a place to meet at the beginning of the workday yesterday morning. I offered them the use of my office. The important thing to remember about the commute from Henly to Round Rock on a weekday morning is: “You have to start early”. At least that’s true if you hope to arrive on time. Consequently they started early. They actually started earlier than I did.
The General is also consistently predictable. She missed her calling. She could have been an interrogator for the Attorney General’s Office. She intuitively comes up with more than enough questions to get the full picture. If for some reason, she doesn’t like the answer she’s provided, she offers an unsolicited opinion to capture the essence of her disdain. So the question she had for me last night was: “Did Kevin and Andrea follow you to work?”
I responded that they did not. They actually arrived at my office about ten minutes before I did. I then stated the obvious: “I got a late start this morning.” She couldn’t help herself. Of course, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out the cause of my delayed departure. She referred to it as: “That blog!” I guess I should be grateful that she didn’t opt to add and adjective or two concerning her estimate of my blog’s value. It would have gone something like this: “It was that time-wasting blog of yours.” Worse yet, she could have said: “You’re wasting your life away and not optimizing your God given ability to write”.
The General is a lot like my mother, except that she cooks a lot better. She could have easily thrown in her belief that I’m squandering the God given talent she perceives I’ve been given related to writing and piecing thoughts together. She’d be really open to my working on a “real” book, but “the comedy club” approach I use to chronicle life on a daily basis doesn’t resonate with her.
Yesterday, someone responded to my blog and added a thought he credited to a Greek philosopher. I’d never heard the expression before: “Love her, but leave her wild.” Wow! That’s pretty profound.
Truthfully, I had to think about the possible meaning before it cognitively made sense to me. I finally connected the dots in my head and thought: “Wow! Wow! Wow!” If you’re still scratching your head and trying to make sense of the expression, let me give you a hint. The hint is included in a poem that includes the word “wild”.
The Barnyard Ducks
There are three ducks in our backyard
Dabbling in the mud and trying hard
To get their share, or even more,
Of the overflowing barnyard store
Satisfied with the task they’re at
Of eating, and sleeping, and just getting fat
But whenever the free, wild ducks fly by
Their long line streaming across the sky
They cock a quizzical, puzzled eye
And flap their wings and try to fly
Oh, I think my soul is a tame old duck
Dabbling around in barnyard muck
Fat and lazy, with useless wings
Yet sometimes, when the North wind sings
And wild ones hurtle overhead
It remembers something lost and dead
And cocks a lazy, bewildered eye
And flaps its wings, and tries to fly
Oh, it’s content with the state it’s in
But it’s not the duck it might have been
How often in life do we forfeit our dreams, hopes, ambitions and become content to maintain the status quo of living life according to the expectations of people who surround us? In the process, we sometimes forfeit the things most important to ourselves. Wouldn’t life lived on those terms be one of drudgery and emptiness?
Sometimes you can see it in their faces. You don’t even have to know them, but you can tell by looking. They could be the people you stand in line with at the checkout counter at the grocery store. They could be the people you pass on the sidewalk of a busy street. They could be people with whom you share life with more intimately. Do they have a reason for being, or are they just treading water and biding their time?
I sometimes observe folks and wonder if they are strangers to the concept of happiness. Theirs is an empty countenance that seems pervasive. You find yourself wondering if joy, happiness, and fulfillment are concepts they’ve ever known or experienced. Pensive, distant, negative and broken seem like the best words to describe them. It is almost as though happiness and contentment are an illusive dream.
Sometimes the price of admission is too high. If one has to abandon their sense of innate interest, purpose and creative ability to conform to expectations imposed upon them by others, it simply isn’t a good fit. Life was meant to be more than dabbling around in barnyard muck! We all long to be the duck we might have been.
There really is something enabling about the concept of “Love her, but leave her wild.”
All My Best!