July 8, 2011 10:09:00 PM
"Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It seems that our needs are seldom satisfied. Our lives are filled with lack. Basic requirements go unfulfilled.
Yet, it is amazing how often we read of absurd notions that make millions for their creators. Who could predict the success of the "Pet Rock"? Have you heard of "I Wear Your Shirt"? This is a web site that features a staff of "human billboards" who promote a company by wearing their shirt in photos that appear on Internet videos and social media for one day. Different days are different prices, and they can get quite expensive.
The "models" (mostly quite ordinary looking folks) make a living and never even need leave home. This is a couch-potato''s dream job. Now, they have expanded to doggie models. How great it would be if my "children" could generate a bit of money for their treats and vet bills.
Some people can solve their problems with talent. Author Shirley Jackson ("The Lottery," "The Haunting of Hill House") once needed a new refrigerator. Her daughter suggested that she create one from magic. So, she wrote a short story about magic and sold it for just enough money to buy a refrigerator.
But talent is not always necessary. Did you know there are people who make their living slashing T-shirts into ragged patterns? (OK. Maybe that takes some talent.) Fortune cookies actually have writers of those fortunes. Snakes have milkers, and ostriches have babysitters. La-Z-Boy has furniture testers. They just sit on the chairs and relax. I could do that.
In larger cities, street performers make a living with an instrument and an overturned hat. Big Joe Shelton told me that at one time we had a harmonica player on the streets of Columbus. I wonder why we don''t have any now?
A few years ago, there was a girl who sat in front of bars in The French Quarter and wrote a poem about passersby, on the spot, for $5. I doubt if she got rich. But her life had a sort of romantic freedom.
Apparently, no talent at all is needed to "star" in a reality show. The only requirements are a huge ego and an inability to be embarrassed by anything. Your body, your humiliating history, your romantic exploits, all are part of the spectacle. The more mortifying, the better. Flaunt your flaws. It makes great TV. I''m not sure if I could do that.
I have the horrible fear that Casey Anthony will get a book deal, or a movie of the week, from her terrible tale. Now there is really a case of having no talent.
I suppose everyone has had a few of those why-didn''t-I-think-of-that moments, or perhaps why-didn''t-I-act-on-that inspirations. But, taking action, now that''s the hard part.
My friend, Miss Cherri Moonpie, loves the beach. Although she is a grown woman, she enjoys bouncing through the waves on a "noodle." This is a sort of hot-dog shaped piece of foam rubber that can be ridden like a pony. They are all the same shape. Cherri thinks that there should be dragon noodles, and mermaid noodles, and animals of all sorts. Certainly a great idea. I hope she acts on it.
Although it looks as if life is getting harder and survival hangs by tattered threads, there are ways to step back from the brink of disaster. We all possess some gift, or genius, or perhaps just chutzpah that will elevate us from the crowd. The trick is to act on it.
"Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen." (Yes, once again, it''s Goethe.) Now is the time to make some magic.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.
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