In looking back, I think I see where the
While playing in mother's garden as a child, I dug a trench of some 10 or 12 feet. No doubt my original intent was to make a row for planting something, but a foot into the project it began to curve this way, then that. By the time my row was completed, it looked like a snake, or like one of Washington's many, winding rivers.
I next hauled a length of hose to my newly formed crevasse and began to fill it with water. (Everyone knows a river isn't truly a river without H20). With diligence, my vision was not satisfied until I had filled the trough to the brim; crafted a dam or two; added some pebbles to the riverbed; then fixed a branch or leaf here-and-there to give it that lush overgrowth common to nature.
As I labored & toiled, new thoughts began to form. My visions grew large & larger. My goldfish came to mind.
When I was sure the river was amply readied, I sneaked into the house to grab two very boring, unsuspecting Nemo-types. Two minutes later my once-bound fish were free of their glass cage; totally unfettered to swim the length & breadth of my newly formed habitat (begin humming "Born Free" now).
At last I grew weary of excavation & fish husbandry, leaving both with some great notion to return shortly for a visit.
Shortly means different things to different people, especially people of roughly 4 years of age.
Whether it was two hours or two days, I cannot tell you. But the story, as you have imagined, did not end well for the fish. By the time I actually got back to my nature preserve, something very bad had happened. The river had breached its banks, and what hadn't caved in had esaped out one end with nary a remaining trickle. It was obvious the sun had slaked its thirst.
The fish, I now know, had been either buried alive, or deprived of water long enough to cause their expiration. I didn't dig lest I be assaulted by a grim find. But I still remember the stupor, then shame that claimed my here-to-fore exuberance.
Well ... It seemed like a good idea at the time.
All that to say, it didn't end there. As I said in opening, I've had many a brainstorm that ended badly. And if not badly, then not in ways I had hoped or planned. Most were born in those same headwaters, the ones of my dirt digging, mud crafting childhood: hopeful, enthusiastic, eager, creative, fun-loving or hope-filled. (I own a few mean-spirited, not-so-nice-meant-to-be-hurtful ones too).
Even so, I've learned as much - maybe more - from such flawed escapades than all of my sound routines combined. That doesn't make them brilliant, or right, or worthwhile in/of themselves; just the raw ingredients for something more useful ... wisdom (AND, a few hysterically funny memories).
The men who try to do something and fail
are infinitely better than those who try to
do nothing and succeed.
Failure sometimes enlarges the spirit.
You have to fall back upon humanity and God.
~ Charles Horton Cooley