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 Post subject: Doing the impossible
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:56 am 
White Lady
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:18 pm
Posts: 13964
Location: Eriksbråten, Skotterud
I read a quote on Facebook today, by St. Francis of Assisi, at least he was the one who was credited:

"Start by doing what is necessary, then do what's possible. And suddenly you are doing the impossible."

I liked that one. I try to live by it each day. That is what makes so many people frustrated with me. Because I refuse to make believe that I am doing more than the necessary right now. And the necessary is often boring, often not so good looking and always takes a long time.

I remember when I was refurbishing the house I bought when Henrikke was little. It was a good house, but on the surface it was very worn, and it was in dire need of new insulation, drainage and all sorts of "boring", necessary things. It took several years of dirty, tiring work to get to the point where we were able to start on the wall paper and paint. My friends lost faith in me. They thought I had no sense of style. Why, I was living in a house with brown wall-to-wall carpet, for heaven's sake.

Many people judge each other by the surface. How fashionable is the interior of your house? How do you dress? How immaculate is your make-up? What kind of car do you drive?

It is easy to fix the surface. You can fool a lot of people. But you cannot fool yourself. And you cannot fool the horse.

Now, I am in the same kind of situation as with the old house. I am living in another old house. I have brown and orange wall paper in my bathroom. I have stains from the fireplace all over the walls of the kitchen, and the hand made tiles in the kitchen is still missing their layers of grout, making people think that I have no idea of what a neat home should look like.

I know how it should look. I have a plan, even. But I know also what is most important. The most important is building a sturdy and healthy business, and to make sure we are able to pay our bills, and to do all the necessary work to support that. The tiles are not important. Yet.

A friend of mine told a story once about a woman with a horse that was lame. On and off lame. And they could not find out what was wrong. My friend thought she had an idea, and suggested consulting someone who knew something about balanced riding and good hoofcare. The owner said: "Yes, yes, but now we have to concentrate on the most important: This tail is dirty, it must be washed."

Of course it is most important to fix the things that everybody can see. Somebody might think that you are clueless. Nobody might notice that the horse is lame unless you provoke it. Nobody else but you and the horse. And the horse shuts up.

Many people ask us why we do not compete. We say it is because we have no time. That is true. But it is also because we are not ready. We are not finished with the necessary stuff yet. And how can you do the possible without the necessary? Such as the good basic gaits, the good transitions and the good, supple and functional seat?

So, until the necessary stuff is in place, we will continue working on the drainage, the fundaments, the insulation, the rythmic gaits, the transitions and the darned hip flexibility.

Soon enough, we will be able to add the tiles, the wall paper and the smooth pirouettes and one time changes. And then I guess people will think we are cool again.

Thing is, we don't care. We know that the necessary things are the most important. And the people we respect know that too.


Paradox is a pointer telling you to look beyond it. If paradoxes bother you, that betrays your deep desire for absolutes. The relativist treats a paradox merely as interesting, perhaps amusing or even, dreadful thought, educational.

Frank Herbert.

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