Am I Successful

Have you ever had a week where nothing at all went wrong? I’ve had them. This was not one of them. I don’t want to enumerate. It would be depressing for me, maybe you. Let me just lay out there that I seemed to be a punching bag for life. Naw … a speed bag. You know the little thing that looks like a uvula that boxers use to work on their speed punches. Muhammad Ali used to teach bumble bees how to sting with one. That was right after he taught butterflies how to fly around the ring.

For those of you that don’t know him, he was for a time exactly what he claimed to be – the greatest boxer. He ruled the boxing ring for years. The man was wild, determined, and had an unbreakable belief in himself and parts of humanity.

I loved to watch him while he boxed. He was an artist at what he did.

Did you know he developed Parkinson? How about the fact he went to jail for draft evasion.

I wasn’t a fan of that last thing, but at the time people were polarized over the Viet Nam war. He did what his conscience led him to do. I did like that.

For a long time, I tried to become a writer and received a continual string of rejections. Most if which told me nothing as to why not even the smallest reason why they objected. Trying as hard as I could I always ended up with as much feedback as air in a vacuum bell. Hell, even a kick in the crotch is better than nothing at all. I bemoaned how the silence was killing my art.

Then I realized they had been giving feedback. My stories sucked. Hell, that was my feedback. Once I realized that my course was clear. I had to go back, study the basic shit, and apply it. Along the way, I needed to read anything on which I could lay my hands that addressed writing.

I had all ready taken the advice of one of my instructors at Officer’s Candidate School regarding his two rules of success. “Number one. Get yourself a tube of Give a Shit, stick it up your ass, and squeeze the whole tube into it. Number two. Acquire a large tube of super glue and spread it all over that same ass and sit down. That way you can’t get up.” Follow those two rules and success will find you.

Don’t know about that last part. Still looking for me I guess. Well maybe. I guess it depends on the definition of success. I’m alive. I’ve published a book through a publisher. I have a wonderful family. What more am I going to do? I guess I need to think about what success is. I remember when I was younger, my day was a success if I didn’t get a spanking. I was a child. I added that last sentence because there are adults who love an occasional spanking.

Well, that was then. Right now I would really like to live while not walking the edge of a razor blade between the road to saving a few bucks and the one where every emergency known to mankind might eat it up. I also want to visit the rest of the world. The parts I’ve already gone to have been eye-opening with everything from disastrous squaller to absolute, breathtaking beauty.

After a few moments of reflection, I discovered other things that I need to include.
I live with a few budding artists. The other day while I shaved I noticed one of them working hard on a fresco, It reminded me of the Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. The way that great artist did the frescos there, lying on his back, and working away. Except this boy wasn’t lying on his back, and he wasn’t using the traditional fresco method of plaster and all that. Now that I think about it he wasn’t using different colors. All right, he stood there with his green crayon and enhanced the wall with scribble. That’s what he calls it when he draws to the right, scribble. Movement in the left direction he called scrabble. So in his words, the picture was about scribble-scrabble. It is one of the best ways I have found to keep me from having low blood pressure.

Another way is when a budding Frank Lloyd Wright decides the wall needs a hammerhead sized peephole into the next room. Keep in mind this wasn’t a teenager fixing a hidden viewport to ogle the opposite gender in compromising states of dress. That I could understand. I would still have to block the hole somehow, but I could understand. Testosterone is a world-shaping hormone and very tough to control, mainly because the one who ultimately has to do the control is the person who has been shanghaied by it. To make matters worse, the kidnaped person doesn’t even know the hijacking happened. Hell, I didn’t know I’d been commandeered by the hormone until way into my fifties when it’s controlling features started to wane. I woke one day and a small voice whispered for me to look back, and I saw what an occasional ass munch I’d been.

My apologies ladies.

Anyway, I would love to have a house that is neat, clean, and all the walls and floors are without that which does not belong. I include in that crayon, paint, markers, urine (both human and animal – usually discovered at night or early in the morning) and any other surprise markings of artistic wannabees or said markings of territory.

All this I’ve been talking about is physical stuff. The real things I measure success by are almost all metaphysical in nature:
The pleasure that is given to me by my family.
My inner feeling after meditation.
The way my mind works when reading great works of literature, and viewing masterpieces of art.
I don’t want to forget great works of the theatre and cinema either. By this, I mean classics such as The Long Days Journey Into Night, or Casablanca, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire, West Side Story. Nor can I forget Hamlet, Romeo, and Juliet or anything penned by the Bard.

I notice most of the theatrical works mentioned above are serious and/or tragedies. I don’t want to forget the lightness of heart brought by comedies. Lysistrata, Tartuffe, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, A Comedy of Errors. Anything written by Mel Brooks or Neil Simon.

The arts are designed to enhance our appreciation of everything around us. They are beautiful ways to get stomach cramps and at the same time titillate the intellect and spirit. While I am not going to begin to say my writing is on a par with classics, it is worth reading. What do you think? If you appreciate my blog, maybe you will like my novel The Sigma Factor. If you haven’t read it, please do, and don’t forget to write a truthful review. If it happens to earn a bad review in your mind then please tell me why. What do you think? You may find yourself successfully relaxing.