Angels and Demons

Is the Jiminy Cricket on your shoulder keeping you from success?


angels and demons
Base image curated from Flickr and edited by the author

ANGEL
“Give into goodness and success will follow.”

DEMON
“Be selfish. Get while the gettin’s good!”

It’s a bi-polar dance, preached in either ear of every amateur on-line entrepreneur, book writer, and artist.
But the truth is, neither path will lead to greatness.

Life is like one big fork along a wooded trail. If you go left or right you’ll find no resistance, but you’ll be twisting your ankle in other people’s boot prints and potholes.
If you forge straight ahead through the brush, you’ll get cut by the thorns and might meet a few snakes and spiders, but if you have thick skin and respect nature then you’ll discover real life.


Some days you just sit there and stare at the screen.
Wonder, why hasn’t anyone found my shit interesting? Others, you write or paint furiously, impassioned, sure that this piece will inspire millions, and if not, who cares!
Those are the best days, I suppose. The ones where it’s just about creating something.

Today is neither one or them for me.

Today’s one of those space between days, when you really make a difference in your life and that of others. It’s the time when you don’t want to do anything at all, but you just do it anyhow.
I could tell you there is a reason why, like Curly on City Slickers. That there’s one thing that makes it all worth it.

But we all know that the one thing might turn out to be a baby calf covered in afterbirth that our wife will never let us keep and we’d probably lose our watch in the process of finding it.

Truth is, no one likes unfinished business and a writer’s job is never done. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.

I’ve always been drawn to those projects that have no chance in hell of ever being completed. Gymnastics, martial arts, writing… heck, even life itself. All things that if you stop practicing you start rolling the dial back on how pretty they come out when you perform.

Pressure. I gotta love it.
I mean I hate it, but if it wasn’t for that I’m unsure where I’d be right now.

Now, Life may seem an arguable toss-in to the category of ‘impossible to complete’ since we all die, but I’d argue that we don’t go anywhere until we’re finally satisfied that we’ve made our place here into our personal vision of it.

Life is like the long dream, ya know?

We close our eyes at night and if we’re lucky we remember a few fleeting dreams in the morning. But, eventually we have to roll out of bed and face the canvas of reality that we’ve fashioned with permanent markers.

All those nighttime dreams are like watercolors…
Pastels and pretty. Urging us to roll back over and go back to sleep a little bit longer.
Meanwhile reality is urging you to get up and face a possible nightmare.

That’s your Jiminy crickets.

But, reality can run the space between and be a mix of both sweet dreams and nightmares.
I really like the image of an angel and a demon on each shoulder, just whispering in your ear. But I think they work more like little conductors pumping away on a railroad handcar together to keep it moving.
Our head right in the middle, the spinning mechanism, feeding out the good ideas that pass between the two little rascals while they work.

Here in the real, you pick up your pencil or your paintbrush and you go to work because you’re building something. Your putting on more layers, or chipping them away if you’re a sculptor, to make yourself and those around you more comfortable.

So, get up and do what you do, even if it might not turn out to be perfect today. Even if you don’t feel like it because, tomorrow some guy or gal is gonna have to deal with the results of your lack of enthusiasm if you don’t. And that guy or gal has your name written all over them.

Forge ahead and add another layer to our world. We need it and will thank you for it. Otherwise you’ll be back in bed again, feeling like you accomplished a whole lot of nothing.

Besides, when you wake up tomorrow don’t you want to open your eyes on a little bit better place?


What did you get done today? Brag to me over here.

If you like stories that slap you right in the face, leave me your email here.

Wanna tip me and move on? Blow my skirt up here!

Wanna collaborate? Connect with me over a cup of coffee…
but not here.
That would just be weird.


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Jay Horne is an author and publisher out of Bradenton, Florida. He is a husband and father of four.
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