Monday, July 20, 2009

Preserve the embers; stoke the fire

The beginning of the wage-slave week often brings a fresh fire and a sense of resolve. The past two days have been filled with quiet moments, away-from-the-quotidian moments, active moments, refreshment of personal goals, and thoughts of reinvention and renewal. Then one enters the quotidian pace, and the clock must be tended. ("Or must it?" your soul cries from its rapidly diminishing quiet place.)

The trick, often not accomplished, is to maintain a hold on that fresh resolve. Too often it's abandoned by noon Monday. There are deadlines to make, papers to push, soil to be turned, clock hands to turn. During the course of the day, the resolution becomes a quaint memory; what began as a confident shout of joy becomes a faint, desperate whisper. Morning triumph leads to evening defeat. No wonder so many medicate themselves to sleep.

Essential to success in living, then, must be finding that Monday morning optimism and drive on Tuesday morning. I find mild success by posting little reminders on the face of my computer, brief sayings from two of my favorite outlaws.

One is a resolution I have written about before: "Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day: I shall not fear anyone on Earth. I shall fear only God. I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering."

The other is from an outlaw I haven't quoted often because I don't claim or desire to be an evangelist and don't want to be confused with one; however, it's foolish for me to pretend I am not influenced by these words, so take them simply as an explanation of my motivations: "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Renewal is an everyday task. Stoking the fire requires a constant vigil. Life is an endless struggle against forces that will beat you down, but only if you let them. Your greatest power is control over your own personal actions and reactions.

These two writers spent their share of time in prison cells for holding beliefs that transcended the politics of the day, and for putting those beliefs into action. Perhaps the memory of those cells helped them maintain that Monday-morning confidence; no doubt it also left them sometimes in despair. But they maintained long enough to make a difference for the ages.

Preserve the embers of resolutions you made when you had a clear vision of your dreams. Some nights the embers are all that's left, but they contain the seeds of an ongoing fire.

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Blogger Vache Folle said...

Thanks for the pick me up. THese are words to live by.

3:15 PM  

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