Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rules of (Tom) Thumb

(Billy admiring my Joseph Cornell artist's retrospective in a public place many years ago)

My dear friend, Billy, recently shared this amazing list of his "Rules of (Tom) Thumb" with me and kindly allowed me to post them here. He made this list for me in response to reading my personal commandments, which came out of a conversation we had about the power of living with a broken heart. I'm so delighted that he agreed to allow me to share them here. He'd love your feedback if you have anything to say in response!

1. Know you're alive. Chances of it are more than a trillion to one against. You made it. You're one of the elite. Between the endless night before and after someone cracked a window. Breathe.

2. Embrace everything, or as much as you can. There is nothing that is not life. There is no "other".

3. Take the pain. It is not against you, it is part of you. It means you're here.

4. Practice radical gratitude. You could have been born a worm, a lizard, a squid, or a slug, or [into much tougher circumstances as a human being]. The fact that you weren't has nothing to do with you. It's a gift.

5. Accept yourself completely at the earliest possible age. Don't dwell on your parents or on early childhood or adolescent experiences. It's the stamp that let you into the dance. That you are, not who you are, is what's important.

6. Stop caring about the outcome. Duality is implicit in everything, the universe cares only about balance, earth water animal man blood all going around in circles - you can't know what maintains the balance or where you are on the wheel.

7. Don't confuse your words with your music, your story with your song, your mind with your body.

8. "You behave 'as if' something were true - then you make it happen." - Gurdjieff

9. "Let the cowboy ride." - Van Morrison

10. Don't forget to boogie.