WITHOUT WORDS

“Speech is silver, silence is golden.”

Swiss proverb

 

A review in The Indianapolis Star said, “the man has the most expressive hands since

Michelangelo.”

The San Francisco Chronicle said, “…He created entire worlds with the tilt of an eyebrow or the stretch of an arm, with a stare or a smile. He told stories, brought to life unforgettable characters and displayed the essence of the theatre, the soul of dance…”

They were talking about Marcel Marceau, “The World’s Greatest Mime.”

Mime is theatre without words. The art of speaking and story telling with the body. Various styles of mime have been around since time began but nobody ever did it better than Marcel. For 60 years, he entertained audiences all over the world.

He was born in Strasbourg, France. From the womb, it seemed he knew his destiny. He would imitate, without sound whatever he encountered. His inspiration came from silent screen comics Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, and Oliver Hardy. His career as a mime became unstoppable by his work at Charles Dullin’s School of Dramatic Art and the creation of his character, “Bip” the clown.

Honored by governments, universities, and the art world many times. “The cage, walking against the wind, and the mask maker” were some of his classic routines. I had the thrill of watching him perform on several occasions. The day before Marcel was to receive an honorary degree from the Ohio State University, the public was invited to watch him teach a class. I don’t think I even blinked my eyes fearing I would miss something. I was thrilled beyond my wildest expectations when I was given the opportunity to meet him at a reception following the class.

Marcel was very gracious. He signed an autograph for me, posed for a picture, and answered my questions. He was 75 years old when I met him and still in love with the work he had been doing all his life. And he announced his intention to keep on doing it as long as God would let him. In a world filled with the roar of jet engines, the drone of traffic, and the blare of television, Marcel entertained and lifted young and old with silence.

Since the creation of heaven and Earth, God has been performing without words too. He’ll paint rainbows in the sky. He’ll sprinkle stars in the Heavens. Flowers bloom and blossom. In the fall leaves flutter in the wind and quietly make their way to earth. In Winter, snowflakes dance. In Spring, the breeze hugs the trees. In Summer, clouds roll through the sky. Sunrise and sunset, all these things happen without words but they speak volumes if we only take the time to listen. Through nature, God speaks of love, beauty, hope and renewal.

“Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words.”

Marcel Marceau

“The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord…”

Psalm 33: 5

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A ONE LEGGED DUCK

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above it.”

Washington Irving, author and historian

 

Does a one legged duck swim in circles?

Yes?

No?

Maybe?

It all depends on the duck’s attitude and how he compensates for that missing leg. Sooner or later we all lose something or someone. Life can be cruel, but what you lose will never be as important as what you think and do next. After you take time to mourn your loss, your next move should be to start looking for the gift wrapped inside your pain.

I heard a story about two farmers. The first farmer asked the second, “How did you do in the tornado last night?”

The second farmer answered, “I lost my hen house and all my chickens but that’s all right.”

The first farmer did not understand. He said to his friend, “You lost your hen house and all your chickens in the tornado. You say that’s all right. How can it be all right?”

The second farmer leaned against his tractor, smiled, then said, “Well I may have lost my hen house and all my chickens in the tornado, but before the wind quit blowing I had three new cows and a pick–up truck.”

I have been broke and I have been hungry. I have been lonely and I have been sick. You may be surprised to learn I did not plan these adventures. Believe it or not I did not enjoy them either.

A counselor said to me, “Sometimes you end up taking classes you didn’t sign up for.”

She got that one right. I may not have had a good time, but I did learn something from each experience. Life is one big classroom and I’ve learned to be a willing student. Every farmer knows that if you’re not green and growing then you’re ripe and rotten. Struggle is a sure sign you’re green. God leaves the growing part up to you.

It has been my experience that not much growing takes place when your heart is full of anger and resentment. When you become a “one legged duck”  instead of asking, “Why me”? I suggest you get a sheet of paper and find a pencil. Now sit down and start adding up your blessings. If you take the time to do this, I’ll bet the list is a lot longer than you thought it would be.

Here’s another suggestion. Don’t wait until you become a “one legged duck” to count your blessings. Start now. Make it a habit. Look for the good and the God in everything that happens.

The happiest ducks in the pond are those who know how to swim with one leg and keep on quacking.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”

Helen Keller

 

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SEEING RED

“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”

Norman Vincent Peale – author, The Power of Positive Thinking

 

Television and I were born about the same time, 1951.

I grew up watching The Ed Sullivan Show,  Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, The Honeymooners,  The Lone Ranger, Superman, Leave it to Beaver, The Twilight Zone, I Love Lucy…

The list goes on for miles.

My favorite entertainer was Red Skelton.

He offered this advice, “Have a little laugh at life and look around you for happiness instead of sadness. Laughter has always brought me out of unhappy situations.”

Red performed a long list of zany characters; Clem Kiddlehopper, Sheriff Deadeye, Cauliflower McPugg, San Fernando Red, Willie Lump Lump. His most popular was Freddie the Freeloader –  a hobo clown who was always cheerful no matter what misfortune he stumbled into.

 

*          *          *

The year was 1980.

My checkbook balance and Freddie’s held the same number of zeros when I learned Red Skelton was coming to town. He would be here for a stage show and to autograph his famous clown paintings at a local gallery.  At the time, I couldn’t afford a ticket to the show or a painting. However, with the same indomitable spirit that “Freddy the Freeloader” was famous for, I came up with a plan to not only meet Red Skelton, but to make him laugh too.

Making my way to the art gallery on the day of his visit was no problem. Waiting my turn to see him was a little more challenging. In spite of the fact I was early, the line to meet Red already stretched to the moon and back. But I had a mission. I took my place in line and waited…and waited…and waited…

Finally, the magic moment arrived. “SHOW TIME!”

I was standing in front of the show business legend, Red Skelton.

“Mr Skelton,” I began. “I would like your opinion on something. I just did my nails. How do they look?”

I shook his hand with my right hand as I opened my left hand which was balled in a fist and revealed six carpenter nails. Red looked at me and I looked at him. Together, as if on cue, we both laughed. I said a quick “Thank you” and made my exit.

No, I didn’t own a Red Skelton clown painting. And no, I wouldn’t be in the audience at the show that night. This didn’t stop me from having a good time. I felt a surge of pride as I walked out of the art gallery and that night I went to sleep with a smile on my face. I had met Red Skelton and I had made him laugh.

“I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty.

I have learned the secret of being happy at anytime in everything that happens.”

Philippians 4:12

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UP THE STREET AND DOWN THE ROAD

“Where are we going and why am I in a hand basket?.”

Bumper sticker

 

I love books.

I have owned a library card over fifty years.

First stop at the mall is the book store.

What do you say we have a book discussion.

The book I’d like to talk about varies in size, depending on where you live. You don’t have to buy it.

You don’t have to check it out of the library. There is an excellent chance you already own it. I’m talking about the telephone book, but we’re not going to be talking about numbers. Open it to the section titled, “Zip Code and Street Guide.”

It would be safe to say just about every city, town, and village in The United States has a Main Street. After Main Street the next likely choice for identification is First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth Avenue or Street.

Beyond these basics, the names of streets, roads or drives are sometimes named in honor of a celebrity, hero, landmark or historical event. For example, Elvis Presley Boulevard, The Jack Nicklaus Freeway, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Bunker Hill Road.

In my directory I found streets, roads, drives, and courts with these names: Hope, Storm Haven, Sweet Day, Rainbow, Perfect, Bright Star, Blue Sky, Bird Song, Grace, Winner, Affirmed, Blessing, Anchor, Good Heart, Inspiration, Integrity, Joy, Love, Melody, and Serenity.

Although my mail comes to my house on North George Street, at times during my life I’ve found myself living other places.

Hard Luck Drive

Out of Money Street

Broken Heart Lane

Smashed Dreams Avenue

And I bet you’ve lived there too.

So now what?

Good question.

And let me refer you to the words of Charles R. Swindoll, author and pastor.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is, we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is plan on the one thing we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of or attitudes.”

So if you were paying attention to what Mr. Swindoll just said, I look forward to visiting you at your new address – I HAD A HARD TIME BUT I LEARNED A LOT AND NOW I’M A BIGGER AND BETTER PERSON READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD AVENUE.

Visit me at www.buddybloomwildflower.com