Sunday, July 20, 2008

OFG IX and My Sacred Life, Sunday

Many years ago, I read a pithy quote from either Mark Twain or Will Rogers, and I wish I could testify for sure from which of them it came. Both men have earned tons of accolades and are now well past the time in their lives where they need them, so I will not concern myself with exact origins at this writing.

It goes something like this:

None of us would spend nearly as much time worrying about what others thought of us if we knew how seldom they did.

That single sentence which I remember from at least 30 years ago is the source of my inspiration for today's combination post.

For the first time ever, the OFG and Sacred Life, Sunday have agreed to appear in the same entry! My various selves argued the plusses and minuses for what seemed like days (okay...for many seconds) before we decided that it was perfectly alright for the two series to cross paths and share the dais. It may never happen again, so gather 'round! Something's happening here which is making history, if only in a tiny backwater known as Hamguin's Hide-not. When it comes to making history, you can only do it where you are, you know?

Without any further introduction, here, then, is the OFG pontificating on many subjects, some of which are mundane enough to qualify, when magnified, as a wonderful topic for Sacred Life, Sunday. There's bound to be a photo in here, too...maybe more than one.

Your participation is not only invited, but encouraged!

On becoming a parent:

I figured I'd like to have some younger people to hang out with when I got old. So, I made a few.

On teaching:

However you arrange it, make sure you spend time teaching. Whether it be the person at work from another country who needs help with English idiom, or the kid down the block dying to play catch who throws like a girl (hey, she needs to learn, too!), or the elderly lady who needs to know all about her new computer, there is no way you can keep from learning far more than you bargained for.

On being rich:

I have always liked having money. On the other hand, if someone else is picking up the tab, I'm liking their money just as much.

On zoos:

I don't understand. It is vital that we learn about animals in the wild, but why do we insist that they instruct us from within our cities? As many times as I have been, I have yet to witness a happy beast other than that one polar bear who had just been given a big bucket-sized ice block full of fish pieces. I did not come back to see how his hangover was the next day, when it was 94 in Denver.

On lifespans:

You can live a long happy life, or you can be miserable and have it only seem like a long life.

On marriage:

You can live a long happy life, or you can marry and have it only seem like a long life.

On true love:

If you have never known love as I know it today, I wish nothing more for you than that. It will be more than enough to convince you that heaven is not only possible, but it is right here, right now. Yes, Julia: this is yours.

On work:

If your work is satisfying, you are blessed. If your work is not satisfying, invest some time and energy into changing that. You get to decide what that means.

On raising children:

I love little children. I really love it when their parents take them back. My own kids were different, though. I was patient enough with them to allow them to grow out of that phase. They all did.

On sports:

If your man wants to waste part of his life in front of the TV, yelling and stomping in tune with his team's fortunes, either join in or go do something you want to do. Don't harass. It is not becoming.

On veracity:

Tell the truth. That's not an excuse to be mean, by the way: learn the art of helping people away from their mistakes without bluntly pointing the mistakes out to them. And, when busted yourself, come clean. We all make mistakes, and confessing one is the best way to distance oneself from making the same mistake again.

On chick flicks:

If you are not able to engage your feminine side enough to enjoy a movie which may have been made with women in mind as the primary audience, then at least enjoy the fact that there are so many women in the audience.

On yo-yos:If you have never had one, buy one. Spend at least ten bucks for it so you get something better than a birthday-party favor. I dare you to play with it for an hour and then give it away. Better: play with it for an hour, and then teach your child, neighbor, or grandkid everything you know about it. Invite the kid back to show you what he learned that you did not know.

On getting old:

I have come to understand why old people spend so much time discussing their ailments. When there are so many, how can one ignore them entirely?

On life:

Sometimes, life gets me down. Thankfully, it is a death match which is not yet over, and life lets me get back up. The illusion that I might win is still intact.

On death:

We're all going to die. Well, except for me. See my website for details on how you can pay to join my exclusive club. All credit cards accepted.

On nobility, or the ruling class:

If one listens to those who run this joint, one hears promises of equal opportunity. They are all lying through their teeth and protecting their own kids' legacy. I'm not bitter, just not in charge.

On happiness:

Figure out what makes you happy. Do it, or allow it, or finagle it. Repeat.

On hardship:

Given the state of affairs today, we are all likely to experience pain and hardship. Don't belabor the point with your friends. Focus on the joy instead. Your friends will be around much more often that way.

On inequity:

Life isn't fair, although we're working to make it more so. We may not get there, though, during your lifetime or mine, so get over it. Whining is counterproductive and astonishingly unattractive.

On judgment:We will all be judged. Those of us not yet divorced, perhaps later than many.

On kissing:

I really love to kiss women. I also love to make them laugh. Now that I am rotund and way over 50, the second option seems more feasible. Not that I have given up on the first, though...

On lunacy:

We're all crazy. I have papers to prove it...what about you?

On puberty:

Dear God, I thank you for seeing me through that time of torment with no unwanted little babies, and only one or two broken hearts (mine, and mine but the second time, not so badly). Please protect my daughters so I am not forced to beat the living daylights out of some football player who is 6'5" and weighs 230. I can take him, but it would ruin his entire mojo thing.

On isolation:

No man is an island, although there are some I have met for whom I would quickly make an exception.

On allowing:

Nothing is more important to joy and a sense of life fulfillment than allowing all of life to touch all of you.

On behaving:

"Behaving" is such a different concept, parent to child, vs. child to parent. Once a parent, please remember what it was like as a child.

On criticism:

Let 'em have it in your best, most vitriolic email or letter. Then, hit Delete or burn the letter, as appropriate.

On reaching out:

If one seeks to touch another, then one must first open oneself to being touched.

On expression of one's opinion:

Never, ever, ever impose your opinion on someone else. Well, unless they simply refuse to come around on their own.

On uniformity:If you choose to be just like all the rest, please don't insist that I do, too. It will spoil the beauty of our relationship. And, I will rat you out as having been my friend to all your straight-laced, tight-faced, uptight peeps.

On f*cking around:

Look, there really is this thing called, 'karma'. Would you feel good as an ornament on some oddball's Christmas tree...the guy who is actually insane and gets his yayas out by torturing Christmas trees which are fully decorated, one sliver of an ornament at a time? That's where you are headed when you start down this path. If you want to wander, check out of the hotel you are registered in first, so to speak.

On washing up:

Guys, cleanliness may or may not be next to Godliness, but it sure gets one next to women far better than does a lack of it.

On xenophobes:

No, they don't look or sound like us. Your point, 5-watt-bulb person?

On God:

God, Spirit, yourSelf, Universe, AllThatIs, the I Am...thanks for all you do. We need you now and forever.

On negativity:

I cannot imagine why any of us permits what so many of us accept in the way that others treat us. I say we love them till they choke from the sugar rush.

On quiet:
It's so wonderful that my wife and I have learned to be together and be quiet sometimes, to simply share our love in a way that requires nothing in those moments but shared breath, shared vision, and shared being. And Last Comic Standing, that can work, too...

On omissions:

I'm doing my best, here. If I left anything out or you have a differing opinion, comment your little heart out. I promise to answer with my heart, not my wise-*ss self.


Olivia said...

Gosh Rick, what a treasure trove of wisdom; and it is reminiscent of Mark Twain...sounds like book! Seriously, these would make a fascinating book; then there would be TWO authors in the family---think about it! xxoo, O

Lynn said...

Hi Rick, I haven't visited you in a while, but fun to pop in and find all these warm things you had to say about life, yours especially. I like the photo on your side bar too.

Rick Hamrick said...

You know, Olivia, I have not closed off that possibility.

It would be a bit of a reach, but I'm not averse to it.

You will be the first to hear of anything bubbling up, O!

Rick Hamrick said...

Thanks, Lynn! Stop back anytime you are in the neighborhood.

Olivia said...

Good news, Rick! I surely hope so...Peace tonight, O

Julie said...

I just printed this to send to my dad. Olivia is right, i see a very good book.

Olivia said...

See there, I'm right :)

Rick Hamrick said...

O and Julie--it is nice of you both to consider this kind of material something someone might be willing to pay to read.

I'll be honest: it touches me a great deal that you, Julie, found it valuable enough to send to your dad. That's where the magic is, as a writer. It's getting people so enthused they want someone they love to share the experience.

You both are special people in my life, so your opinions are valuable.

There will be another similar post this week, and we'll see if you think it is a working concept. If you guys think so, I'll keep doing these until I run out of topics. That should be about 2012 or so.

I don't know if it will prove to be worth doing or not, as I find every word I write to be equally fascinating! (grinning)

I'm pretty sure you both are familiar with Patti Digh. She is about to have her first book sourced from her blog published (she is already a published author, but more on the professional side--she is an expert in diversity and acceptance and was a co-author of a couple of books in that area), and there are certainly others: Gluten-free Girl is one of my faves. So, should I manage to accumulate enough material and a readership which takes more than one hand to count, who knows?

Confession: I'm fine either way. I love what I do for a living, and I love to write and share what I write. If I could turn that into vocation as well as hobby, that would be fun. If not, I'm still having fun just as things are.

Thanks so much for your kind words, ladies!

Olivia said...

Good, I'm glad that you'll be open to this. I just finished reading "How to Be Happy, Dammit!" and maybe it could be something like that. You'd have enough material soon, and would just need the design part done. Thank you for your referral for the "How to Be Happy, Dammit!" book, too, Rick. It was short, sweet, and a good reminder :) Sacredness, O