Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Monday, August 08, 2005

Wake People, Wave People

My newest friend Scarlet commented on my attitude today, "You're always doing so great." We were meeting over coffee to learn about each other's businesses. She's the owner of Mustard Seed Janitorial and among other services she reduces allergens in the homes and businesses she cleans. She uses bio-friendly products like baking soda and vinegar and elbow grease so she can avoid using harsh chemicals. Pretty refreshing, to find someone who is willing to trade effort for chemical "efficiency."

"I am?" Man, I thought, I hope my projected self-image doesn't get in the way of who I truly am.

"I mean, when I see you, you're always up. I try to be, but I know I'm just faking."

"Well," I said, "It's like St. Paul says: 'Put on Christ.' We fake it until it's real."

Scarlet went on to thank me for speaking the story of Denise's life at a not-so-recent breakfast meeting. So I knew then, that she can see the difference between what's happening to a person, and that person's attitude about their life situation. It's okay for me to be "up," it's not a lie, because my attitude counts most.

A couple days ago I got caught in the crosswalk as the light changed. A car came zooming up. The (thankfully) alert driver slammed on his brakes and gave me a dose of horn. I'm really glad he was alert, or that my guardian angel quickened his reflexes. The odd part: I never felt threatened. My fight-or-flight reflex didn't kick in. I was profoundly grateful that he stopped in time, and I was embarrassed, but I never got a rush of stress chemicals. Perhaps I'm foolishly secure in my safety? Unknown: but my attitude was one of peace and security, even in the face of certain bodily harm. Does attitude count that much?

My attitude about my life wavers greatly. I want to be a wake person! I programmed vector-based fonts on my Commodore 64 two years before Adobe launched their version of vector-based fonts. I had no resources to bring vector-based fonts to market, yet I knew the profound limitations of pixel-based fonts. So I sat by and watched Adobe's great big wake charge forth. This sort of thing happens in my world: I can see needs, but so far I've not capitalized on what I see.

So far, I've been a wave person. I'm a bit of the human network that has a place, and supports the people around me, and works to hold things together. A mortar person. A strand of the tapestry that helps hold the colorful threads together. Part of the backdrop upon which others achieve greatness. Not a Burt Rutan or a Nicolai Tesla. Maybe once in a while a Rosa Parks, but mostly a John Q. Anybody.

It chafes. Oh Lord, I struggle to see the honor in being an everyday person. For I know it's a great thing! To be fully fine and fulfilled at being an everyday, glue-of-civilization, salt-of-the-earth person. My entire ancestry are those who did a great job being part of the backround scenery, living out their lives happily serving you by being waves of the sea.

But I...

I want to be a wake person! I want to be moving so powerfully that people can surf my wake to futures that excite them! I want to be an unstoppable force of nature!

"It's not your time, yet," said Scarlet. "It'll happen in God's time."

"I know. (sigh) But in the meantime, I'm patiently waiting impatiently."

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