Working on the Story

Three of my Watercolors. Gallery at Redlands

I believe there are millions who, when the story of their childhood and high school and college ends, sat in the empty theater of their mind, watching the credits roll, waiting for fate to tell them yet another story. But once we are on our own, our parents, our teachers, and our culture stop telling us what to do, and we have to dream something up for ourselves.

Donald Miller, Hero on a Mission

Once again, time finds me working into the night, trying to get out this blog. We arrived in Palestine this morning, and I have not been alone until now at nearly 8 p.m. I’m still in The Gallery at Redlands, enjoying the momentary quiet, while listening to many, many voices in the lobby, the restaurant and the bar. So I might have to stop again any moment.

Reading Donald Miller’s Hero on a Mission has been a real treat these last few days. I’m particularly attracted to his statement posted above, realizing painfully that many, many people I’ve known throughout the years seem to have lost their sense of enchantment and adventure about life once they graduated and settled into a profession. I never understood that. As for myself, I have felt that I was living inside a novel from the time I left college till the present day. It would seem that being a career high school teacher would be either boring or fraught with adolescent drama. Neither was true for me. Daily I felt like James Joyce in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Daily, my classes would create a stream-of-consciousness for me as words from the students, from me, and from the texts I read would comingle into the most amazing plots and configurations that would feed my art.

Now retired, I choose not to lie down in the pasture and die; daily I find a new challenge, a new angle, a new path, a new odyssey. Daily I am invited to resume the journey from yesterday or simply reinvent myself. As a friend told me long ago, we are limited only by our own imagination. I’m glad to be reading Donald Miller, and hopefully tonight when things quiet down around here I can go upstairs and read some more chapters before sleep enters my chamber.

Thanks always for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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