Note: I've been down in SW Florida the past weekend for a long weekend, a trip that has been in the planning for about six months. I got the requisite sun- and alcohol- poisoning out of the way fairly early, and was doing pretty well down there in laid back parrot-head land, until I ran afowl of the lawn chair. Keep in mind, I regularly will heft and toss fifty pound bags of ceramic powders and clay up onto shelves with the ease of a basketball free throw, no problem. But, dehydration, alcohol, and a less than mindful thought process combined to antagonize an old back injury when I lifted up a five pound lawn chair and I suddenly could not stand up straight. The remainder of the night was pain so intense I was nauseous. Fortunately, some Vicodin and muscle relaxants took care of all that, but I've been down for the count lo these past few days. As a result, I'm behind on my Kickstarter begging duties, and so you get the following:
Being raised as an American, being fed the standard ethos of rugged individualism, stand-on-your-own-two-feetism, pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps-ism, it is difficult for me to ask for help. Asking for help, asking for assistance, is, at different levels, considered shameful, even sinful, here in this country.
This is an irony that ignores reality, considering that it is impossible for any one of us individuals, at any point in history, to not be thoroughly dependent upon other individuals for our very existence. Why, even Robinson Crusoe had a prior dependence upon people before struggling on his own on a desert island.
So, I really should get over these primitive instincts. Pride being, of course, the primary primitive atavism at work here. I thought I made good progress in tamping down my pride and cultivating a healthy humility by setting up a Kickstarter project and asking for help. And of course, the beautiful thing about this is that humility in turn can be transformed into pride in my fellow human beings. The paradox is that humility, in making me small and humble, makes me, in turn, enlarged through the generosity of others. To see such a largeness of spirit and open-armed generosity is deeply affecting, and makes me feel great in turn. And the one small price I have to pay for it, really, is some small amount of alchemy, some craft and effort and shaping of things, to provide my backers with a little piece of (hopefully) magical piece of the material universe. True, it may seem like a trade bead or a trinket to others, but it contains as much benevolence and obliging congeniality as I can suffuse into it.
To those who have helped me, much obliged.
And so now I'm asking for just a little bit more help, and a chance for all you strangers out there to embiggen yourselves a bit more.
This is the final week of the (ah-ha-ha, now I know how public TV feels) pledge drive for my project. I'm very close, currently 72% funded, for the project. All I need is a few more contributors, and then, it shall be my turn to be generous. And, believe me, I will not disappoint.