Monday, June 27, 2011

I Am Who I Am Now and Then

I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady. I wish it to be sound and sweet, and not to need diet and bleeding. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson - Self-Reliance

Think about the type of person you’d NEVER want to be 5 years from now. Write out your own personal recipe to prevent this from happening and commit to following it. “Thought is the seed of action.”

After e.e. cummings *)

In some of my worst nightmares, I am Ms. Judy, a counter help at a fast food restaurant, who has an eight hour work day, wears a polyester uniform, dishes out colorless food to tasteless people, bikes home suffocating on the exhaust of rush hour coaches, watches the crafts programs on t.v. only, whose social life is like a Tupper ware party, and who retires in a U.V. park.

In some of my best dreams, I am the Dutchess abroad, a traveling artist and writer, who works twenty-four hours a day, wears whatever she pleases, sends meaningful visions into the expectant world, passes time pleasantly while waiting for a good time to travel, discriminately stays home alone or with her love, and never retires at all.

Judith van Praag
20 November 1994

My personal recipe works miracles: Thought IS the seed of action.

*) Norman Friedman insists on capitalization: E.E. Cummings

This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Judith van Praag said...

Via Twitter
Thandelike Anastasia M. Ashman:

@DutchessAbroad Blogger won't let me comment on the post there so it's coming here...

Ms, Judy of the fastfood counter help: I regularly envision doing work, having lives I don't relish. 1/2

"I'm glad I don't have to do roadwork in the tropics, breathing exhaust and baking in the sun" 2/2

Judith van Praag said...

Dear Anastasia,

We're fortunate.
Reading your comment I remember the women in India who worked on the building of roads and in construction. They were lean, mean and tough and I saluted them in my mind.
Here in the U.S. I greet the women who work alongside the men on that immense network of highways, thanking them for the work they do.
My first job in the U.S, in my student days was at a Mexican fast food restaurant. Cap and uniform such a disguise that even my fellow workers didn't recognize me outside the business! I lasted for three weeks and then moved on...