It’s not what you get, but how you get it…

I recently became an euphoric king of the mountain of sawdust. And I was euphoric because of that mountain. How is it possible to get so excited about a 17 euro pile of dust you ask?
Well let me tell you..
We live in a forest house which is semi off-grid. And one thing that it is off grid and is far far superior circle of life is our compost toilet. I advise you to read Joseph Jenkins’ book on that, called “Humanure Handbook“. It hides much more wisdom than title might announce. So for compost toilet you need sawdust. Though I have quite some sawdust in my workshop, most of it is no good. It is from exotic species so it does not decompose and it is too small  or too big. Not to go into details, I need to buy sawdust every few years. And this year I came to an unpleasant surprise that all the sawmills around stared making pellets (useless for toilet) or redirect all their sawdust into heating and kilns… And the once glorious pile was put down to a few buckets and getting smaller and smaller..
“Shit!” I thought. What am I going to do with all the shit!? And then like a miracle another small sawmill showed up in the relative neighbourhood and they had enough sawdust for us to pile-up the mountain again. I was shoveling that sawdust as it was gold! I was so grateful for something that is other man’s waste. I was looking at the pile at home and I was smiling… wondering if it was real…
But if I had a truckload of sawdust coming every third year by schedule and I never go near ground zero, I wouldn’t have felt this thrill about a trivial thing. And the principle of it is easy to extrapolate. It is not so much about what you get, but how you get it. Generally speaking, of course. If you were so rich that every material thing comes to you at the snap of the fingers… how could you possibly appreciate it and give it attention? And life without appreciation and attention is not a particularly rich life.. because you are missing it.
So in the times when struggle comes, we can embrace it, knowing that through it we do not come to some goal, but we are merely relieved of the oblivion in which we commonly live and we can find magic in ordinary things. Sure, it is an obvious observation, but one that is very easy to forget. And this is a reminder, nothing more.
Your didgeridoo playing follows the same principle. It just has to be impossible, then difficult, then possible, then easy (sometimes). And if you come this way to the “easy”, you will have more appreciation and enjoyment in your own playing. Embrace adversity. Embrace struggle. Embrace friction. They are giving you the gift.
-Du
1 comment… add one
  • Rhys Mayes December 25, 2019, 12:20

    This is amazing, thank you 🙂

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