Before I start my rant, please be advise that I will be a guest at the Hero Bot Con in Elmira, NY on October 8th. If you would like more information please click HERE and read all about it!
And Now For Our Irregularly Schedule Rant
Larry Brennan is a local ventriloquist that I was recently introduced to. He is a registered nurse that has been using his ventriloquistic talents to educate different populations about healthy ways of living. His life-long motto “Only Clean Jokes Are Healthy” can clearly be seen within his acts as he and his different dummies interact with one another.
He has a newsletter that he sends out weekly which consists of three separate elements:
1) A video of him and his dummies singing
2) A “clean and healthy” joke
3) A healthy thought
This past week my email greeted me with one of his newsletters which I quickly gazed through. I was halted at the “Healthy Thought” which contained the following quote:
“Time is free and yet it’s priceless. You can’t own it but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” – Harvey Mackay
As someone who is constantly concerned about the different temporal aspects of my life I was relieved to see something that put constraints on time in a way that gives me a different method of explaining my artistic beliefs. If time is a limited currency I want to make sure that I spend it efficiently and properly. I want to squeeze every cent and ensure that I’m not wasting any amount no matter how large or small.
When I’m placed in a situation in which time could conceivably be thrown away I like to analyze my resources and determine the best way that my time can be spent. While in a pizza shop a few nights ago I couldn’t handle the thought of wasting anything while waiting for my food. I pulled out my lovely V5 pen that I always carry and hunted for something to draw on (thank god for the extra quantities of promotional business cards of a web developer that were sitting next to the table). From the instant I ordered my vegan calzone, to just before I ate the sucker, I did everything in my power to create something that I could be proud of.
This goofy image may seem like nothing more than a slightly smudged child’s drawing but to me it encapsulates everything I love about art and existence. Despite limited resources, limited fine art skill sets, and the heat from the pizzeria furnace blasting behind me I was still capable of creating something that helps me feel whole. It may not be Van Gogh quality (perhaps it even makes you want to chop off your own body parts) but it’s something that I created and learned from which are the only two things that I seem to be able truly harness.
I encourage you to start to consider your life in terms of wasted moments. Look at your daily existence and see at what points you can fit in something that will help you feel more productive and content. Use these instances to draw a picture, have an eloquent conversation, read a short story, write a haiku, express your love for someone in the form of something you create entirely on your own, bake cookies, high five a strange, or venture into territory that you previously found intimidating. By doing this I’ve been able to better spend my time and I like to think I’m not an isolated case.
Life is short, make art and make your mark.
P.S. Though the Harvey Mackay quote that Larry sent me stirred up a lot of the content in this post I am a collector of different ideas, quotes, and stories about temporal understanding and education. If you’re interested in this subject matter consider investigating the following sources:
1) “The only point at which you need to stop learning is about ten minutes after you’re dead”
-Written by Dennis O’Neil in issue 2 of The Question comic book series from 1986
2) The short story “Repent Harlequin, Said The Ticktock Man” by Harlan Ellison.
Both of these reads will keep you thinking like a zen Buddhist monk for at least a month.