I don’t see the world the way other people do. Specifically, I don’t see other people the way other people do.
When I look at someone, deep truth is laid bare. I see things that sometimes not even the closest friend or spouse of the person I’m looking at would guess. Sometimes things not even the person would guess.
I see where they are meant to be.
Vocationally, I mean.
No matter what kind of job they hold or what they put on that morning, I see them dressed in the garb and surrounded by the tools of the trade for which they are best suited.
It can be…depressing. Sometimes I wish I had been born with the ability to be able to tell when people would die. That would be less depressing. Seeing what I see is such a downer because most of the time people aren’t doing the thing they were made to do.
There’s a lady who works at my bank, I think she’s a loan officer. Every week when I go in to deposit my paycheck I can see her through the glass wall of her office. She’s decked out in Carhartt coveralls and a straw hat. A gas tiller, which only I can see, sits unused in the corner.
She’s a farmer. That’s all there is to it. And she’s stuck in that loan office everyday.
It can be funny, like when I see the mayor and he’s dressed like a janitor. Standing there giving a speech with a mop in his hand. Oh, and there’s this janitor over at the hospital who looks like a Pharaoh. Decked out in the headdress and everything. Some people were just born too late, I guess.
It can be scary. I nearly passed out when I met the surgeon who was going to remove my gall bladder: he was wearing this stained butcher’s apron and had a cleaver tucked in his belt.
I got a second opinion. I still have my gall bladder.
Every now and then, though, you see someone who fits, someone who is exactly where they need to be.
I’m a software engineer, and there’s this lady three cubicles down. Her name is Helen. She does data entry and she looks like she’s supposed to be there. And it’s beautiful. She may be short and squinty and nearly 50, but she’s the most beautiful person on my floor because she’s exactly where she needs to be.
Me? When I look in the mirror, I’m wearing a tuxedo with tails and the whole 9. Sometimes I have sheet music tucked under my arm. My chair at work looks like a piano bench to me, and I never even learned to play. It’s kind of hard for me not to feel like I missed my calling.
You? Tell me what you do?
No, you don’t want to know what I see. It would just depress you.
We should just go get a drink. There’s a bartender down here who should have been an artist. He makes good drinks, so he kinda is, I guess.
#23 Andy Kindler - Jason Sims Puts You In Your Place -
Attention TV Executives:hidden somewhere in my delightfully frenetic conversation with Andy Kindler there’s a pitch for a potentially very lucrative sitcom.
Also, the Andy Kindler laugh is one of the greatest all-time laughs.
Work, talent, calling, duty. I think about these things a lot. They go all the way down to the core of how I see myself spiritually, personally and professionally.
As a husband and father, my primary duty is to help provide a living for my family while contributing to the common good of my fellow humans.
Like of most the creativity-driven people I know, I’ve spent a lot of time scheming and dreaming about how to trap that most elusive quarry: a job in the arts that pays well enough to meet my obligations as a husband and a father.
I’ve been frustrated in the past because I couldn’t make that work. Recently, though, I’ve come to believe that I’ve incorrectly conflated these two separate yet related things into one. I think I’m working towards a more healthy, balanced view: the two are both important, but different.
As an artist, my first duty is to beauty, truth and goodness. If I never make a dime or a name of myself, this the reason I was given whatever talent I have. It’s not the same duty as providing a living.
The main advantage I can see for doing creative things for a living is that I would have more time and more of myself to give to those pursuits. Lately, though, an advantage of NOT doing the creative things I do for a living has emerged: freedom. If I decide an artistic thing I’m involved with is objectionable, destructive or banal, I have the freedom to set it aside or walk away without the threat of not being able to pay the rent or buy groceries hanging over my head.
So, my new synthesis in the face of this dilemma is this: the duty to make a living is primary and separate from the duty to create, but the duty to create is still real and important. If I use the talents I’ve been given rightly, it really is good for me and for others.
Therefore, I feel I have a duty, as much as I am able, to make a living in a way which facilitates my responsibility to create beautiful, good and true work. I owe doing my best to meet both demands to myself, others and the One who gave me my abilities and existence.
Picture by @justsheano.
I love “Star World!”
Who could forget great characters like Tinbot-2, Darph Lady, Goldbot-3, Space Ape, the Antennae Troops &, our hero, Helm Sonic, pilot of the Maximum Saucer?
I had all 12 of their Space Figures.
“Hope the Power Helps You Out!”
Alex, left, & Aaron, right, a long time ago.
I was not much older than you are now when we had each of you. We had no clue what we were doing. We handled things with all the necessity and urgency of dealing with a beautiful house fire.
I want you to believe that everything I’ve consciously done in relation to you has been motivated by seeking your good. I haven’t always been right about what’s best or how to help move things in that direction, but I’ve tried.
You and your mama have taught me more about love than you will ever know. You have pulled me out of myself and the small universe of my own plans and ambitions. You have taught me to take more joy in someone else having or doing a thing than if I was having of doing it. And that’s a miracle.
So much of your lives are invisible to me now. I try not to intrude, but your well-being is one of my lifelong obsessions. I’m going to overstep my bounds, so please be patient.
God bless you and keep you. You both continue to amaze me. So different, so alike. You’ll both be OK.
Lazerpointersaurus w/ Allison Stone, Michael Francisco, and Andrew Cambron! -
Lazersaurus is an institution on WFHB, which itself is an institution in Bloomington, Indiana. It’s a music and comedy program hosted by a guy named Dave with weekly guests every Tuesday from 11pm to 1am. After almost two years of perfect attendance, he needed the night off and I was honored to fill in.
On this “cover version” of Lazersaurus, Lazerpointersaurus, I tried to do right by Dave and asked my friends Allison, Michael, and Andrew to join me in the studio for a few hours of music and comedy.
We did our best. I think our best was pretty good.
#22 Steve Lambert 2 - Jason Sims puts You In Your Place -
Artist Steve Lambert becomes the first member of the Jason Sims Puts You In Your Place Two Timer Club as we talk Africa, ice cream and ENERGY!
forgiving his would-be assassin. what a beautiful scene.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.