Saturday, November 30, 2013

keeping things fresh

Watching a fellow named Marten Mikos talk on TV about "open source and cloud computing" (I haven't got a clue as to what that means), it crossed my mind that any goal or endeavor or dream tends to become stale as time passes: Excitement and heart-felt effort slumps into a rote performance that lacks the zest that once imbued the scene.

Employment, marriage, mountain-climbing ... whatever the dream that was once dreamt seems to shape-shift with time and experience until, perhaps, the dreamer's zest is spent and a kind of plodding, flavorless mediocrity kicks in. The reasons for remaining true to the dream devolve into doing it "for the kids" or "putting spaghetti on the table." What once soared now shuffles, with only occasional bright lights to remind the dreamer of what was once brilliantly beautiful.

Perky motivational speakers seem to make a pretty good living by encouraging others to forswear their blahs, but their nostrums -- which are oh-so-reasonable and unremittingly energetic -- don't strike me as hitting the sweet spot. Sure, a good diet, a circle of friends, an exercise regimen ... all may be very good suggestions, and yet....

At some point, propping up the old dreams runs out of zest ... and I'm not saying that simply because I'm an old fart. Age has little or nothing to do with it.

Watching Mikos talk about things I knew little or nothing about, what crossed my mind was an apparent willingness to take responsibility ... and smile. Of course the wealth of a comfortable white guy may grease the skids of responsibility, but I'm not sure that wealth has much impact in the end: Everyone gets stuck with the farm they are stuck with ... from dreaming to dismal, that's the farm... a farm that can seem to press down with staleness.

The brick wall of stale requires a shift in approach. This farm is this farm. And, when examined and embraced, it's a pretty good farm. It's not somebody else's farm. It's not a rocket-burst of success or an unmitigated quicksand of failure. That's not the point. The point is, this farm is this farm. Every day is a new day for the good farmer. From shoveling chickenshit to playing the fiddle ... it's all new and what is new is invariably successful and wears a smile.

There is no such thing as a stale smile.

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