You’ve Got to Be Kidding?

Time me

Time me



When people inquire about I do with my time I say I have some daily activities that I call practices that keep me busy almost full time. I go on to say that specifically my practices are: aikido, watercolors, writing. At that point I usually get a blank look.


 In the beginning I thought that I must have given some weird response or spoken in Swahili. It’s as if they expected an answer that my practices are going to lead me to a new career in which I likely will get paid a lot and have prospects of advancement.  




In David Whyte’s book, Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity, I got some insight into peoples responses. When he discusses contemplating telling the world of his decision to live in alignment with his true self…. A poet.


 If you want to meet terrifying silence, tell the world you are going full time as a poet.  Who would give me a word of encouragement if I did?  It has never been easy to go full-time as a poet in any recorded portion of human history.  When we announce to the world that we are about to go full-time as a poet, people do not come up to us, slapping us on the back, saying, “Great career move, David,” or “I hear they are taking them on at Lockheed right now,” or “Marvelous.  I hear there’s a decent dental plan comes with the verse.”


 Funny of course. But it’s a very real insight to the reality of the situation.


 So be prepared for the looks and the unspoken look of, what a waste of time’ or, there’s definitely no money in that. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have someone ask,’ tell me more please?’ And’ what happens to you when you do these practices?’


 Maybe the next time someone takes the risk of telling you their dream that fits in the category of ‘way outside the box’ your response will be 100% supportive and inquisitive.





2 Responses to “You’ve Got to Be Kidding?”

  1. Kurt Carlstedt Says:

    Being who you truly are is a grand awaking; it leaves out the expectations of others, and that IS the challenge! We are so money oriented that outriders on the bell curve are discounted until they become “productive”. Yet, as Carl Sandberg said, “Only that day dawns to which we are truly awake”. These two philosophical views are presently in tension with one and other. Still I hear the Bard saying “Unto thine own self be true”. That is a strong form of awakening! Enjoy your life, and thanks for the interesting blog.

  2. Good fortune smiles on you both. I can’t understand people who think they’ll be bored in retirement. I have so many pursuits and never enough time for them. By the time I get to retirement, I hope I can still hike with my easel, still walk to the fishing hole, still use my fingers & hear the guitar, still see my canvas…
    I am happy for anyone who achieves a “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding” kind of life!

    Be at peace,


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