Tag Archives: God

Guilt

“Something in me, dark and sticky” ~ Peter Gabriel

There is nothing greater in this life than to be what you were made to be. Feeling the tug? Want to break free from the drudge and living for someone else’s dream? I say wholeheartedly: Yes, you can and yes … there’s nothing better.

There is a price, and some of that price is guilt. Let me unburden, if you please.

Aside: unburden. That’s kind of funny. It implies that once I lay this down to you, I won’t carry it around anymore. Nope. As soon as I fill your ears it’s going right back on my shoulders. Such is me: I can’t let things go.

I’ve achieved success in my work. Success to me means the ability to not only support myself and my family with my art and my craft, but to reach out and help those who need it. It’s important to me and it feels good. It feels great. I work hard at what I do. I do the work because I love it. I want others to feel this amazing thing, too.

With the success came recognition: a minor sort of fame. Interrupted dinners in public. Unwanted advances, suspicious new ‘friends’. That felt good for a while, too, until it burned me a few times. Listen to this, because this is a hard lesson I’m still learning. Fame isn’t worth it. It becomes … tolerable, if you really love what you do. (And I really do love what I do). Sadly, it can make you instantly suspicious of even close friends. There’s the very real probability of unwarranted jealousy on the part of your loved ones, who (rightly) expect your time with them to be sacred. Watch your ego, I constantly remind myself. It can really tear things down quickly.

I know it’s a bit rambling this time, such are my thoughts.

Point is: even when you work hard … for decades, even. When you work until your throat is raw and your fingers can’t feel … when you take the stage with a kidney stone tearing its merry way through you because the show MUST go on … achieving the success can bring feelings of guilt. I’ve heard:

“It came to easy for you.”
“You don’t charge enough and you’re undercutting everyone.”
“You charge too much and you’re making the rest of us look cheap.”

I get accused of being a diva and of being ‘moody’, sometimes. Sorry folks: sometimes I get too deep in my own head.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Guilt.

I’ll deal with it. I’m still carrying it, even when I know I’ve not done anything wrong. I’ll bear it, grinning or not. Perhaps a good story will come from it.

In the end, that’s why I’m here. This is what I was made for. To tell my stories and do magic tricks.

Regarding those things: I have no guilt and there will be no apologies.

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Born a Rebel.

historical-jesus

Your temples are full of gold and pride.
Come outside, come out to the sweltering heat and the bitter cold.
To the rain, the mud and the dirty places.
Let us preach to each other in the wilderness.

Befriend the whores and the thieves.
Listen to the liars and the artists. (They are one and the same)
Share your dreams and accept gifts of flowers and gloves.
Give your love to all, at least as much as you are able.

Make wine from water. Be sure to drink from your neighbor’s offered cup, and share yours with the man who has no cup of his own. Love freely.

I’m a heathen and a pagan. I’m a dreamer living in my own dream. I don’t believe in your god. I’m not sorry about that, anymore.
I am solely on the side of Love. And the heart of the message from the Rebel.

Love one another.

And maybe you’ll read this and think I’m just waving my flag.

… or you could Love. Like the Rebel Jesus.

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A Letter to Myself

Dear Hannibal at 17, Image

You’re going to live to be at least 48.  I know this, because I’m writing to you from August of 2013. It’s beautiful here, and the journey is amazing. Scary sometimes, and rough, but you’ll make it past the darkness. There are surprises and oases everywhere, so there’s much to look forward too.

I do have some bad news:  Your parents are both gone, and your sister isn’t speaking to you. None of these things are your fault, so please don’t beat yourself up about it.

Some good news:  You have four incredibly amazing children. (Three daughters and a son.)

Better news than that:  You’re married!

And that means:  That means you got to kiss a girl. In fact, more than one.

The best news:  Your wife is a complete babe. Beautiful, smart … you find a girl who loves you exactly the way you are. (Semi-spoiler: you already know her, but the two of you haven’t ‘clicked’ yet.) So keep up your prayers, because they will be answered. There’s is a nerd-loving hottie in your future.

On the “prayer” thing:  You still think God exists.  More than ever, really.

Dear Hannibal at 17:  You’re not a loser.  You won’t believe this, I know.  But you’re not.  Things get better. Your next family?  It stays together.  You laugh together, you sing, you laugh some more, your wife lets you smooch her, and while you’re typing this, your boy (he’s taller than you!) plays guitar in the next room.

You don’t starve to death.  Nobody kills you.  You don’t die in an accident.  You get a job.  You have friends, here and there.  You’re not exposed as a complete fraud.  Things are okay.

Turns out, you don’t fail at everything.  You fail at some things, but most “things” become a lot more laughable.  Seriously — life is funnier all the time.  All that stuff you already know, deep down, is darkly odd about your life?  It’s downright hilarious, later.  I know you won’t, but you can afford to lighten up a bit.

You know that ‘hobby’ of yours? The one your old man sneers at and got you laughed off the stage at the 5th grade talent show? It’s going to be your career. Your ‘dime a dozen’ tricks are going to take you to Europe, Mexico and all over the US. You will meet amazing people and experience things you can’t even imagine, all because you tell stories and do some card tricks. Your Dad is wrong about this one.

Spoiler: Your Dad is a champion Ballroom Dancer. He has trophies and everything. How’s THAT for a new perspective, eh?

The stuff you’re ashamed of, that stuff at 17, that only I know about?  God uses you anyway.  Somehow.  You won’t figure it out, but he does.  He loves you, in the midst of it.

That Richard Adams book you love so much, the one with the rabbits? It contains everything you need to know about your passion and your calling. God is in it.

He’s in you, too.

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