As a writer, as a designer, as an actor, I've learned that there is enormous value in looking at a constant in changing contexts.
Doubtless this falls under the rubric of no duh for scholars or even the mildly observant, but it takes me awhile to 'get' things. A long, long while. Not that this is a problem, exactly (although it took me a while to get that, too). It's just the way it is, love me, love my interminable mental digestive tract.
For example, after two-and-a-half years of blogging, I still draw a blank when people ask me what my blog is about. I realize this is a cobbler's-children situation, but there it is: for the most part, when it comes to myself, I yam clueless.
What I have figured out over two and a half years of blogging is that this blog is a map of me, drawn from bumping up against the edges of everything. Fiddle-dee-dee crap like movies and books and current events as I flailed around in the beginning, more substantive stuff as I flail around now.
I flailed with the idea for this very series. It was certainly time for another Saluteâ„¢, the self-imposed, three-week jumpstarts I use to jog myself out of complacency and get my sorry ass writing regularly again. But what to write about? After all, I'm happy, my apartment is clean, we already know I'm a big dork, and my photos, well, until I get a better scanner, the rest of them are staying in the Rubbermaid container.
The Newtonian moment came several weeks ago, when I was bonked on the head with a back issue of Sunset, a magazine which has proven itself to be a strangely reliable source of comfort ever since I discovered it, some 14 years ago. I fell upon an article titled "Your garden makeover: 10 steps to success" and was struck, in that delightful, out-of-the-blue way that sometimes happens, by the universality of those 10 steps to success, the Garden Rules, specifically, by how well they applied to business, which is something that's been much on my mind since I started my own almost a year ago.
And there, suddenly, it was: my job was not to find The Lesson; my job was to let The Lesson find me. Because the lessons are everywhere (and nowhere) and can be found in anything (and nothing). They come when you seek them and especially (sometimes) when you don't.
That, Grasshopper, is some serious zen action.
So for these next three weeks, I'm opening myself up to The Lessons, or the lessons, lowercase, where ever they might appear. For they do appear everywhere, in the parking lot and on the cereal box as readily as they do in yoga class or Point Dume. They are there, everywhere, if I'm willing to shift my focus ever so slightly to the right. Or the left.
Or, you know, right here...