Went running through the desert
I thought of the kangaroos I drew
with deep admiration of
their hefty legs
Our hearts beating
lungs exchanging energy
An important skill taught in Driver’s Education courses is to keep one’s eyes where one wants to go (the safe place) and not on obstacles that one wants to avoid. For example, if your car starts to skid out of control, don’t focus on the tree you’re afraid of crashing into, but on the open road. If you focus on the tree, that’s where you’ll end up.
In life, that tree can be a metaphor for the last decades of our lives. We tend to focus on fears such as, “What if I don’t have enough money to retire?”
We live in a youth-centered society. We don’t take care of our elderly very well. So it’s no wonder so many of us fear growing old (despite the fact that it’s inevitable if we don’t die first).
When we choose to stop focusing on aging (and limitations), and start focusing on The Possibilities, fascinating things can happen:
Annie Proulx, this year’s winner of the National Book Award, and author of Brokeback Mountain and The Shipping News, did not start seriously writing until she was 58. (Bigthink)
In the middle of his prolific career as inventor and businessman, Thomas Edison’s plant was burned down by a fire – all of his work was gone. What was his reaction?
“Although I am over 67 years old, I’ll start all over again tomorrow.”
And he did, the very next day. He didn’t even let any of his employees go. Edison and his team made $10 million the very next year. (BusinessInsider)
What are you going to focus on?
My favorite children’s book series is Frog and Toad. I’ve always loved the simplicity and hilarity of the stories and it dawned on me only recently that perhaps Frog and Toad were more than friends. Lobel, author and illustrator, came out to his family pretty late in life and then died from AIDS. Everyone needs to accept everyone for who they are. Why judge others?
Which brings me to a comment my husband made to me this morning. He was looking over my shoulder, watching me draw the frogs.
“So when are you going to draw your own things?”
“I don’t know…the things you like.”
“I like what I’m doing. I have drawn things on my own and they were pretty terrible. I’m still learning.”
“Just draw your own things.”
I understand what he’s saying. And I have wondered if I’m playing it safe by drawing out of a book, but I really am a beginner. My goal is to practice drawing until December 31st and then try my own “things.”
And that is when I will make my leap!
“Enraged, Diana turned Rhodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns.”*
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
“A shark’s sense of smell is so acute that he can detect a single drop of blood in an Olympic-size swimming pool.”*