The Envelope Please

Jim Gustafson

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The Academy Award nominations were released yesterday morning. I heard them on the radio. As I listened, I had a moment of insight, not great earth shaking insight, but insight nevertheless. I realized that I will never be nominated for nor win an Oscar, not even one of the technical ones they scroll through real fast during the TV show.

I am neither a great actor, director, screenwriter, supporting actor, animator, or costume designer. I had parts in school plays. Once I even had a leading role, but nobody ever suggested that I go on to study theater. I secretly wished they would, but they didn’t. Actually, people were polite about my performance. The sort of polite that lets you know they had to think hard about what they were going to say. The experience cooled my acting ambitions and fueled a life long interest in the theater.

I recently discovered the Buddha Board. “Buddha Board is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment. You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design. Then, as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind - ready to create a whole new masterpiece. Allow yourself to ‘let go’ and not be concerned with each outcome - live for the moment and enjoy!"

Sometimes when we get older, we have to let go of the fantasies we had as children. There comes a time when you just know that there will never be an Oscar on your mantle. It doesn’t have to be a sad realization. In some ways it can be a liberating admission. If we accept the “won’t be", we are free to celebrate the “what is. " We focus on our current actions rather than futile attempts to control future outcomes. We realize that the painting we had is gone and a clean slate and a clear mind has appeared – -

Can’t you just hear them say…?

And the winner is. . . ?


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