3 – January 3
“Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud, and one the stars.”—Frederick Langbridge
The waitress has worked here since time began. Ageless and calm, her eyes see through to the end of the world. She smacks her gum, gives the customer a lopsided grin, and smoothly asks in her professional voice, “May I take your order now?” She stands there expectantly, pencil poised to write on her order pad.
“I don’t know exactly what I’m hungry for. I can’t make a mistake. I’m really sorry this is taking so long—I’m so stupid!” In discomfort and confusion, the customer gropes for the right words and the right order.
“One don’t, one can’t, and a side order of shame!” the waitress hollers to the cook. He stands behind the counter, ready to serve up another batch of cold reality. He’s heard this order before. In a second, the plate is prepared.
“I really want to help people. I don’t care about the money,” the customer explains.
“Hold the money!” the waitress hollers.
The cook silently removes the money from the plate.
A new customer bursts into the diner: “I’ll have the talent, drive and determination to be a top caliber professional writer, I’ll write a book that helps many people and easily makes me rich and famous!”
The waitress laughs and gives the order to the cook: “One successful bestseller smothered in money and a side order of fame!”
“It’s already been delivered,” smiles the cook.
This is Earth’s Universal Diner, where you always get exactly what you ask for. Would you like to change your order?
“I always get exactly what I want!”
I love this story. I can say that with modesty, even though I wrote it, because I’m not sure how I wrote it. This is one of the magical stories that just came through as I sat at my computer typing and thinking and writing. Once in a while, something else took hold, the zone embraced me, images flowed through my mind and became words. And the words formed a story, outside my ken.
Every artist experiences this otherworldly phenomenon, that transforms their picture or article or ad or whatever creation they are working on. This is why we show up hour after hour, day after day. We wait for the inspiration, the muse, the automatic writing that takes over and uses us as a tool. The thing we intended has been transformed and blessed.
This only happens when you are working, experimenting, listening, giving yourself over to the thing you love.