9.02.2008

Battlin'

I had a motorcycle mechanic when I lived in Cape Town in South Africa. He was a little old man with a quick wit (and, unfortunately for me, a bad prescription but that's another story) who lived a few miles outside of the city. Everytime I would see him, I would say, "How are you this morning?"

His response would always be to say, "Battlin'" meaning that he wasn't done yet, he was still fighting and working and doing his thing as best he could.

Not a bad philosophy really. While its pretty easy to get pulled into national and international emergencies, politics and tawdry celebrity idiot news, it doesn't really do much for what's happening to you right now. It may make your life a little better to know that Lindsay Lohan thinks her father is a pathetic attention-whore jerk, which he is, but I don't think that makes life much easier in the moment to moment. It may give you a tingly pleasure to know that most of the rest of the world thinks Tom Cruise is an annoying little wanker, just as I do, but that knowledge doesn't get the laundry washed, the dog poop in the backyard scooped up or the freshly scrawled crayon off the stairway wall.

I suppose you could guess that I'm battlin' along these days. Trying to keep my eyes on the immediate prize and trying not to pay attention to those things that tear at me, that diminish my world and make me long for an alternate reality. I am striving to be in this moment and to derive as much as I can from it.

To some degree, it is working. I'm less of a malcontent these days than I have been in a few months. I may not be totally juiced on the world, and I'm not, but I'm also not casting my eyes all over creation looking for who's got it better than me. Because, in the end, it doesn't really matter. I have my life to live and it won't be lived very well at all if my attention is always looking elsewhere for validation.
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