Blog 1425 – 08.15.2019
Where Do I Begin?
As a writer, I have learned the answer to that question. But before I share that simple often overlooked answer as is my custom let me circle around the issue a bit first. An elderly pastor/friend that I knew as a young man, Earl Jacob Collins, often spoke of his quite popular and gifted evangelist father, Jay Lee Collins, and would describe his long rambling sermons like a bee making ever widening circles till he honed in on the target and would then make a “bee-line” straight to the point. The answer to the question that is the title of this piece is: “It does not really matter where you start only that you do start and keep at it till you arrive or are transferred to a new task.”
Start at the beginning – work forward, start at the ending -circling back to fill in the details, or start at the middle of the story – and go both ways, the story will still get told, either way, and the job will get done. All the best planning and preparation does not make a good speaker, singer, writer, or performer, or person. Neither planning, nor practice produces, only performance gets any job done. We get the job done and get better at anything by doing it. It is called “On the job training.” We used to know this and had more apprenticeship programs to get more people as quickly as possible spending more time doing as opposed to just studying, forever preparing and planning to do something someday.
Often people are hard on themselves because their life or lives are not a quick and a neat progression. But most often the Circle of Life is lived in wider and wider imperfect circles and is not neat but messy. Yet even as the two sayings “hope floats” and “all’s well that ends well,” go, I have hope even though I continue to make a lot of “wrong turns” in life. Like I quickly learned about my Ram pick-up bought new four years ago, it and life both have this uncanny ability to stop, turn around, and go back. One thing I have discovered is that if I allow a little extra time to get where I am intending to go that these once thought of as rambling, needless delays are in fact wonder-filled mini adventures that my Higher Self plans for me to show me the really good stuff that I might otherwise miss if sped only straight from point A to point B. This I so rarely do now.
Maybe Jay Lee and the bees had it right all along, circling and circling ever wider before we pick any particular point to make or to arrive at is perhaps the best way to get from here to there or to at least really enjoy getting there. Hey, you may often hear as a derogatory remark, “That’s for the birds” but you are more likely to hear, well at least one did in the nineteen twenties (a few years even before ole Dave’s time) “That is the bees knees.” Both birds and bee know some cool stuff and that may be why we use “the birds and the bees” as a euphemism for one of the best things in life, the one that keeps this big beautiful ball spinning and covered with people.
Nike used to say “Just Do It.” to that I add, “Keep doing it till you get it right.” Twenty (plus) years of practice and Lord above, I know how to do it, as the song says.
I Know How To Do It
Your friend and fellow traveler,
A “Can Do” Guy,
Note: The picture today is of my military unit’s emblem from my time in Vietnam in 1970. We were the U.S. Army Security Agency (ASA,) the Army counterpart to the NSA (National Security Agency) and called ourselves “The Can Do Company.”