THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.
In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.
Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.
by Larry Brody
Recently I wrote about an encounter with the Old Billionaire, during which he asked me some questions about life and I answered them.
A little less recently I wrote about an experience with Burl Jr., where he asked me some questions about life and I answered them too.
Time now for a confession.
That writing was very, very hard for me to do.
And living through those events was even more difficult.
Especially the answering part.
The giving of advice.
The pontificating as though I actually knew something that could be of value to someone else.
Who am I to set myself up as an authority on how to better anyone else’s life?
Who, for that matter, is anyone to set themselves up that way?
The only guy I know whose wisdom I would follow is whoever said, “We’re all snowflakes.” Actually, I know that comedian Louis Black said it once during an appearance on HBO. But he’s such a sarcastic, ironic grouch of an observer of humanity that I figure what I heard probably was intended as caustic commentary to needle the true originator of the phrase.
As witty and funny and often correct as Louis Black may be, my hat’s off to the original dude who really meant those words. Because just like snowflakes, human beings are different, each and every one of us.
Which is why I’m so leery of saying that anything I know to be true about myself ever will be equally true about this old boy, or that one, or any of those sweet sisters over there.
Let’s face it. Who am I most intimate with? Whose daily life have I lived from birth on? Whose
head, heart, and soul have I been inside?
Just mine, that’s whose.
So I search and I struggle to discover what works for me—and sometimes I even find it. But can I say it’ll work for the Old Billionaire? Or Burl Jr.? Or Jack the Ex-Navy Seal?
Sweet Jane? Lorna at the Bank? Karen the Post Lady?
Or even Gwen the Beautiful?
Answers about life that are right for me could be so very wrong for them.
And yet my friends do ask for my opinion from time to time, hoping that somehow they’ll find a way to put themselves on the road to happiness or success…or maybe even just find a little bit of peace.
They’re not the only ones who look for answers elsewhere, of course. And I’m far from the only one who gets questioned.
Gwen’s Paradise friend Dorrie calls once a week to rave about some new psychic or spiritual counselor or energy healer she’s found.
My Hollywood friend Lew e-mails me monthly to talk about the same kind of thing. The teacher he’s given literally millions of dollars to over the years. A guy we’ve all heard of who goes by the moniker, “Dalai Lama.”
Some of them small potatoes. Some big-time. And, for all I know, all of them are sincere.
But how can any of us hope to find peace and satisfaction by following directions given by someone else? Did you ever change your way of life because your parents told you what you what you were doing was going to blow up in your face?
No way. You had to wait for the explosion—and if you were lucky, with that big bang came some inner light that kept you safe next time around.
My own trick for getting to the bottom of what ails me is to open myself up. To throw away any formula or expectation and pay attention to—
Ah…to what? Is it the world around me I’m tuning in on? Is it the Wind, or the Universe, as I like to write in this space? Is it my own inner voice?
Is it God?
I can’t say. I don’t know.
But I do know it’s not just some other guy. I’m much too stubborn to get anything anywhere near enlightenment out of even my best friend.
Which brings me back to the beginning of my musing.
And to the realization that by writing this once again I’m telling others what to do.
So I ask the Old Billionaire and Burl Jr. and everyone else to please forgive my presumption.
Ignore my pronouncements and look for answers that are entirely your own. Go with the flow of true wisdom—
Oh, hell. I’m doing it again!