Dave the Domino Man
Today my blog comes straight from the fond memories I have of this man whom I painted. I kew him as Dave. Dave was a very quiet it man who did not have a lot to say, but what he did say was worthy of taking time to listen to. He had seen much in his life, and because of what he had seen he had much advice to give about finding peace in ones own life.
He had many little sayings that he would dispense at appropriate times. I remember one day being in his company, not long after I had given some serious thought to painting. I do not really remember what I had been saying but I do remember his response. "Ralph you are making me tired just listening to you. You need to stop chasing your tail and tackle one thing at a time. Multitasking is for others. Do one thing and do it well, keep your eye on the task in hand. Stop chasing your tail."
I listened to him. The following day I got out my pastels and did this painting of him. Well I made start that next day. I had it ready to show him the next week. IN his own quiet it way he let me know he liked it. "How much do you want for it?" Then with his wicked smile," I don't want you hanging that anywhere."
So here is my little story for this morning.
Johnny the Lizard lived between some rocks out in the country. Like all lizards he loved to just lie in the sun, laid out on some flat stone. He felt so relaxed doing so, more than once he fell asleep doing just this. That is exactly what had happened on the day he lost his tail. Some children caught him, and Johnny could only escape by losing his tail and running and hiding.
Shocked and frightened, he listened to how the children laughed at seeing his tail continue to move, even though it was no longer attached to his body. After a bit they threw the tail away. When the children had gone, Johnny started looking everywhere for his tail, wanting to reattach it to its rightful place. However, the countryside was very big, and as much as he searched for it, Johnny could find no sign of his tail. He left everything else in his life, devoting himself to the search. He forgot about his home, his possessions, his friends. Days and months passed, and Johnny kept looking, asking everyone he met whether they had seen his tail.
One day, someone he asked surprisedly replied, "Why do you need two tails?" Johnny turned and saw that after so much time spent searching he had grown a new tail. What’s more, his new tail looked stronger and better than his old tail. Seeing this, he realised how silly it had been to dedicate so much time to a problem for which there was no solution. Johnny turned back and headed for home.
On his way home he found his old tail at the side of the way. It was dry and dusty, and looked really bad. However, Johnny, having spent so much time looking for it, was happy to find it, and he picked it up and resumed his journey.
Soon he met a frog. The frog, surprised, asked Johnny: “Why are you carrying such a horrible old tail when you already have such a lovely tail of your own?" "Because I spent months looking for it," replied Johnny. "You really spent months looking for something so ugly and dirty?" said the frog.
"Well, Johnny explained, “previously it wasn’t as ugly as this…""Hmm, but now it is, wouldn’t you agree?... How strange you lizards are!" said the frog before jumping off into the distance.
The frog was right. Johnny still thought of his tail as though it was the same tail he used to have, but in reality it was now disgusting. Now Johnny understood, so he decided to drop his old tail there, leaving with it all his past worries. As he continued his journey all he took with him were thoughts of the future.
It was time to stop chasing his tail, and get on with the task in hand. Where was there a nice stone in the sun?