Friday, January 2, 2015

Persistence And Enthusiasm



Below is one of the pictures I snapped yesterday while walking on Speedway at the wash running along Camino Seco, across that street from the CVS pharmacy.

Snow On The Mountains
(click pic for larger view)
From Speedway Blvd. & Camino Seco
January 1, 2015 - Tucson, Arizona

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

For quite some time now I have seen in myself a certain lack (loss?) of the enthusiasm I had enjoyed from an earlier time. And I seem to have just accepted this loss as a part of the process of growing old. But now I am having second thoughts on the matter. How much, I wonder, is the existence of enthusiasm, in the face of old age's piddling pains, tied to and dependent upon one's artificially induced mental attitude?

I ask: Can enthusiasm be summoned up and put to use simply by the seemingly intangible force of will?

James Whitcomb Riley - a poet from Indiana - once said, "The most essential factor is persistence - the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come."

Can I, then, simply by persisting, by writing even when I feel physically ill, or think I've nothing to say, or bowing to one or more of the millions of other excuses for sloth, eventually bring myself some success in having produced a considerable bulk of worthwhile written works?

It seems as though I might.


If, as long as I live, I merely push myself to persist...

...what have I to lose?


Here is one of the first poem I read, enjoyed, and remember from way back when, from the time I was a wild young brat living in my hometown of Rensselaer, Indiana, where the Little Cousin Jasper festival still occurs each year.

Little Cousin Jasper
James Whitcomb Riley

Little Cousin Jasper, he
Don't live in this town, like me, --
He lives 'way to Rensselaer,
An' ist comes to visit here.

He says 'at our court-house square
Ain't nigh big as theirn is there! --
He says their town's big as four
Er five towns like this, an' more!

He says ef his folks moved here
He'd cry to leave Rensselaer --
'Cause they's prairies there, an' lakes,
An' wile-ducks an' rattlesnakes!

Yes, 'n' little Jasper's Pa
Shoots most things you ever saw! --
Wunst he shot a deer, one day,
'At swummed off an' got away.

Little Cousin Jasper went
An' camped out wunst in a tent
Wiv his Pa, an' helt his gun
While he kilt a turrapun.

An' when his Ma heerd o' that,
An' more things his Pa's bin at,
She says, " Yes, 'n' he'll git shot
'Fore he's man-grown, like as not! "

An' they's mussrats there, an' minks,
An' di-dippers, an' chee-winks, --
Yes, 'n' cal'mus-root you chew
All up an' 't 'on't pizen you!

An', in town, 's a flag-pole there --
Highest one 'at's anywhere
In this world!  --  rite in the street
Where the big mass-meetin's meet.

Yes, 'n' Jasper he says they
Got a brass band there, an' play
On it, an' march up an' down
An' all over round the town!

Wisht our town ain't like it is! --
Wisht it's ist as big as his!
Wisht 'at his folks they'd move here,
An' we'd move to Rensselaer!


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
--Winston Churchill


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