Fishbowler

I make art in strange places and blog about it.

Inspiration For Ranch Hands

First off, we’re all ranch hands and we all bitch about it. We’re working on their thing, whoever they are, and all we know is they are not us. This goes on for many many years, working for ‘them’ with a hazy vision of the glorious future when finally it will be our own thing we’re working on with ‘them’ in our stable to do our bidding.

The thing is this: if you want something, get it. If you don’t want something, don’t take it. Everything comes at a price and that includes transactions, relationships, and employment. We give and we take so if what we’re giving isn’t worth what we’re getting we must take action. If we don’t take action, our lashing out is really only anger at the self for not doing anything. The lashing out is one way to perceive and react to the world but it’s not an empowering practice to keep. It’s the wrong way for anyone looking to build courage.

It’s easy to take advantage of the desperate and the hungry. Artists will give themselves away, horse girls will sling that hay, and all for just a taste. But for the long haul only discipline pays. That’s the real payola.

To condemn it all can feel like sitting on a mountain top, looking down on it all. Bitching elevates the self in words by putting everything else down below the self… but only in words. What this really does is focus the attention onto what is getting in the way which you’re telling yourself is something other than the self.

Practice makes perfect. To become disciplined is the goal. Discipline, itself, is the pay off. Reputation is everything so build it well. Maintain it. And that bitching, it’ll have to come to a close at some point. Don’t worry about that though, just know that bitching is a strongly centering endeavor for a self. Learning selflessness is the cardinal direction. Selflessness is basically enlightenment so don’t hold that high ideal too tightly. You won’t start on your path to selflessness until you decide to curb your bitching.

Ranch hand is the peon in the world so take the job seriously. Understand what it is to be a peon and realize all the while that you are above this, above your peasant self right now pulling weeds in the dirty wind, shoveling shit in the rain, and start to observe. You are only filling time with these feet that fill these boots which are not you. You are beyond all of this but if you are satisfied with the compensation from your ranch handing, turn this into a decision: “I decided to take this. This job is my decision. This place is what I’ve decided to accept in my growth.”

No one stays a ranch hand forever but the lessons learned won’t ever go away. Eventually you’ll be putting all the knowledge into place…

…and that’s when things get truly difficult.

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