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Bring The Rod, Reel, Bread and Wine… Forget The Hooks

In Paris by the Seine River, you can see a rumpled older man sitting on the bank with his rod, loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. Monsieur drops his line in the water appearing to be fishing. But there’s no hook on his line! 

He might be a nutjob, or he inhabits an altered reality.

Society no longer values Monsieur’s labor, and even nature, which once offered good health and quickly cured his ailments, has left him.

His prospects?

Your prospect can be better than good; wonderful

They are better than you’d expect. As an escapee from the rules of the herd, he’s left to his imagination to make up his own rules. The loaf of bread and wine mean he won’t need the fishhook or fish. Instead, his employment is working on his own life’s drama. That job means he is the author, producer, critic, starring role actor, and audience of his own show.

 At first, this vagabond gets a poor performance rating, but nevertheless,I identify with him on a closer view. At my advanced age, the career is a nothingburger; nature and society leave both Monsieur and me to our own devices. So increasingly, I make up my own stories and playbook. 

“If you spend a day fishing, you will catch fish or fail”, according to the herd’s rules. My new rules say if I fish, write, paint, fix my old car, or garden, I must be compensated with more than cash. 

What’s worth more than cash in fist?

 With writing, for example, I do it for two priceless benefits, both worth more than bread:

  1. I write to relive my life, including the exhilarating ideas accumulated along the way. That’s a “BOGO” if I ever saw one. Live one life, get one more.
  2. The writing process is a high-risk attempt to be creative. At times this results in trash. Ah, but when successful, I become more alive, wrestling with what’s important to me. At my age, feeling more alive is big time

Bigger than fish, bigger bread. 

It is as good a day’s pay as you will get!

And that is the definition of “wonderful” in my book

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About The Author
Barclay Henderson
Barclay Henderson
Born Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1939. (I'm happily still there). I went west to graduate from college, Reed, in Oregon, and then further west to Waseda University, Tokyo. I earned a black belt in Judo in Japan and married my current wife there. I returned to New England and got an MBA at Dartmouth's Tuck School. In 1970 I started my own company, a Benihana of Tokyo franchise, and went on to build 20 more restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. In 2011 I sold out profitably, and we spent time traveling. Minako and I love this country but dreamed of visiting more than 100 foreign lands and continents. We fulfilled that goal last year. The years since retirement have turned out to be an antidote to left-brain analytics of business. I've written two books and a humor blog. I play the oboe in small chamber groups as well as many days as a gym rat working out. The days pass agreeably, but those spent fooling around with the kids and grandkids are the best days.
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