It’s funny how I can get all up in arms about people who say one thing and do another, or who don’t carry through with what they know they should be doing… and yet for months I’ve been blowing off all the things I need to do to improve my situation. I’ve flip-flopped between looking for full time work and trying to sort out the intimidating mess that my student loan situation has become. I’ve resolved myself to donate piles of clutter and clothes from around the house, and those items I’ve put aside are still sitting in piles waiting to get loaded into the van. I’ve even decided that in order to keep myself from feeling that I’ve lost all ability, I need to write regularly and spend more time with the fiction I used to love so much. Despite all this, I have yet to produce even a complete short story… it’s been YEARS since I finished writing anything.
All these things combined could become so depressing they might weigh me down further -except that I am writing this blog post on the crest of my latest wave of motivation. Unexpected as they usually are, this one feels almost familiar. My father used to tell these little stories when he wanted to impart a lesson to me, and at the time I used to marvel at them even as I laughed. Sometimes I wish I could talk to him again, just to reassure him that despite his belief that I didn’t listen or believe his wisdom… all of it has stayed with me. While the stories were sometimes crude or inappropriate, the lessons behind them were good ones.
Probably my favorite story was about a dog sitting on a porch howling. The owner is sitting right next to him, whittling or something, and doing nothing. So my dad (or the teller of the story, I’d assume) walks up and asks what’s wrong with the dog. The owner says he’s sitting on a nail. Of course the storyteller asks why he doesn’t move off of it. Ready for the answer?
“It just doesn’t hurt enough.”