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Sunday, May 25, 2008

You Have to Buy a Ticket

Shades of the old joke: yesterday the Best Bass Player in Town was heard to mutter as he sorted through the day’s junk mail, “Please tell me I won the lottery.” To which I replied (sweetly, mind you), “Did you buy a ticket?”

Readers of these pages know I’m a proponent of the art of creative intention. Knowing what you want is a helpful first step to getting it. But all the creative intention in the world won’t get you far if you never move your desire out of your head and into the place where things can actually happen.

You have to buy your ticket.

When I left Los Angeles 15 years ago it was to make a simpler life somewhere else. It didn’t so much matter where, so long as I could live less expensively and more creatively. So I bought my ticket: I packed up and headed east. I eventually landed in the Midwest, much to my surprise, in a small town somewhat like the one I grew up in, but with better weather. My L.A. friends think I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth, but I got what I wanted: a simpler, more creative life.

I think many of us sense the shifting of our cultural tectonic plates. Things are changing. People are worried. Four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline makes us all a little nervous. As we navigate our way through what may well be a maelstrom of upheaval in the years ahead, it will serve us to invest some time figuring out what it is we want to bring about in the aftermath. What sort of culture do we want to create? Can we see it, can we feel it? Can we make it real in our own lives, right now, as a demonstration of our intention?

It’s not necessary to change the hearts and minds of everyone around us. It’s not important to get a majority to agree with us before we begin to shift ourselves. We don’t have to have all the answers. We just need to know what we really, really want.

And then we have to buy a ticket.

Here's something I really, really want: a peaceful economy, creative and cooperative and locally-based, that serves the needs of the whole community -- including the nonhuman community with which we share space.

How do I get to such a place? I don't know, exactly, but I suspect I can start by being more peaceful, more creative, more cooperative right now, and see where that takes me.

1 comment:

  1. Hi - thanks for the comment on my blog, and the chance to discover yours. I like what you're writing very much, and can definitely see your studio emerging from the overgrowth! (funny - my husband did the same tea thing after decades and decades of morning coffee-drinking and couldn't be happier with it. Change is a good thing.)

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