There are always flowers for those who want to see them.—Henri Matisse (1869-1954).
When I was fourteen growing up on a council estate, attending a very second rate school, the only career opportunities I’d heard of were factory work, shop assistant or office (the highest possible goal being to marry the boss!) I felt inside there was more, much more to life. My father then loosing his job meant leaving school without even GCSE level qualifications. (Think without a High School diploma for US folks).
Yet I was later to not only gain a Fine Arts degree and study post grad, but I became a teacher, traveled the world and even helped found a school! I sometimes have to remind my kids (who tend to have upper middle class aspirations) that I was born poor hence my social viewpoint is very different.
None of the kids I grew up with ever reached higher than shop or office. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I do wonder sometimes how much untapped potential there was wasted because some were way smarter than me.
What made the difference was vision. I dared to get a job in downtown London. I mixed with a different crowd and slowly became aware of my options.I owe so much to the many folks that helped me along the way, taught me how to tap resources and had faith in me.
Always shoot for the stars!
Opening his office window Gibson peered down at the teeming mass below. Bedlam! Cars jockeyed for places, taxis honked impatiently, and multitudes thronged the pavements surging home.
Some might think he had it good. At least he had a job, a good income. He knew better. There was nothing left, nothing to strive for, since Leslie left he’d been hitting the bottle but that had just made it worse. His investments had failed; his life as he saw it was on the rocks. Everything he’d strived for all these years had turned to ashes. He hated himself, what he had become. He didn’t blame Leslie, not really, she’d had enough.
He took another swig of the whiskey concealed in his desk draw, mounted the chair and straddled the window frame. He was oddly cautious as he lowered himself onto the ledge. Far below no one noticed the lone figure standing aloft. Wind swept by, oddly refreshing. A bird flew in graceful arcs. he was reminded of his boyhood, where had it all gone so wrong? He’d had so many dreams back then, now all was shattered by the reality of existence.
He was startled by a rattle of the window pane, a lined old face looking up at him. The cleaner had seen the window left open…
What caused Lem to glance out before closing the window he didn’t know, perhaps it was the sunlit clouds, perhaps the bird song, but what he saw there froze his breath. Mr. Gibson stood pressed to the wall his face waxen. Was he about to jump?
“Mr. Gibsen, what are you doing? Come in. Please come in!” The face looked up in confusion and Gibson felt a pang of remorse that Lem should witness this. His voice lashed out angrily.
“You don’t know. You don’t know just how much I hate my life. It hurts too much! I don’t want it any more!”
Lem stood gawking; a birth defect had left him simpleminded. He didn’t have the skills for this kind of stuff.
“If I has something I don’t want no more, I gives it away sir, maybe someone else wants it.” Lem looked on incredulously as Mr. Gibson gazed at him in astonishment.
“If I don’t want something I give it away,” somehow the empty void around him, the bird careering through the sky lent meaning to the statement. Slowly he began to edge his was back through the window helped by the puzzled Lem.
“You ain’t gonna jump then Mr. Gibson?”
A strange smile lit Gibson’s face, “ No Lem you’re right. If you don’t want something you give it away.”
Rebooting his computer he began a search, there must be a volunteer organisation that could use his engineering skills…
There is only one invitation it would kill me to refuse, yet I’m tempted to turn it down all the time. I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn’t come in an envelope. It’s ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day. …
Accepting the invitation to show up in life is about moving from the bleachers to the field. It’s moving from developing opinions to developing options. It’s about having things matter to us enough that we stop just thinking about those things and actually do something about them. Simply put, Jesus is looking for us to accept the invitation to participate. It’s like the president is calling and we just need to answer the phone. We need to show up.
(Great quote! I agree entirely (I’d just skip out on the coffee bit – I hate the smell of coffee lol!)
(Yeh made it (with the exception of the old photo day (couldn’t figure how to transfer it (too old! lol)
Why do you blog?
I first started my “love to read love to write” blog at the suggestion of a writing college.
Knowing I my wish to eventually publish my books etc. she said,” I’ll save you two years. Start a blog, and face book and twitter sites now.” So It began as a purely practical venture, knowing sooner or later (whether traditional or self publishing) I’d need to market my own stuff. However on first exploring the sites I began to see the potential of blogging for it’s own sake. (Hence my introduction – see about).
Since then I’ve become more and more interested in others blogs (how selfish to initially be just thinking of promoting myself). Now I enjoy the interaction and gleaning gems of beauty, inspiration and insight from others just as much as indulging my bent for writing. The world is a wonderful, multifaceted place, alive with different colours and hues, the blog sites reflect this. Happy blogging!
What’s at the top of your bucket list?
Don’t actually have a bucket list favoring the more immediate gratification of the “to do list”. Mostly things I wanted to do I went on the attack and did (my last remaining one being to live in China which I checked off some years back). The only things I can think of that I once wanted and didn’t do are, build my own house and own a horse, but as neither are now high on my life priorities and I’m no longer particularly wanting to do them they don’t really count. So I guess I’d look to my to do list and say – publish my book (which I’ve been procrastinating on for a year now). Of course I’d also like to be in love again one last time but that’s not something for a bucket list as it’s beyond my control.
If I were young again I think I might make one. They are a great way to give focus to life which can tend to fritter away without goals.
Christmas over, New Year’s meet ups and celebrations at an end I felt a little forlorn as I closed my front door, heading out.
Then my eyes fell on tiny green shoots peeping out from among the yet to be cleared debris of autumn’s late bloomers, a promissory note of the suns return. My mood changed as my perspectives altered.