Friday, July 29, 2011

Stealing, but not the good kind.

This morning I was feeling good. I finally got a good nights sleep. I'm usually a pretty light sleeper. When I have a good sleep rhythm going, I might get up once in the middle of the night and check on things outside. Just to keep an eye on the neighborhood. I don't live in a bad neighborhood, but since I moved in a couple of years ago there have been a couple of instances where some neighbors had some things stolen. Over the past week or so my sleep hasn't been great. A couple of nights I would sleep 3 or 4 hours in the early morning and be back up by 8 or 9 o'clock.

But last night I was lights out by 2ish and slept like a log. And that's when the thief made his (or her) move.

I have an old car I've named "The Blue Whale" that I keep around for days when I may have car trouble or if I have to put my daily driver in for repairs. The Whale is just an old Grand Marquis, but it serves it's purpose and is reliable when needed.

So this morning, I walk out and the driver's door is wide open.
"That's not right," I thought.
So I went inside, opened the gun safe and removed the .357 that I keep loaded for "when the shit hits the fan" type of scenarios. I slipped it into my pocket and approached the car with caution, just in case a deranged meth freak was in there.

All that was stolen was the factory radio/tape deck. I walked around the house to make sure my lawn tractor, canoe and push mower were still locked up under the car port. They were. I checked my shed to make sure it was still locked. It was. I opened the storm cellar door to make sure my camping gear and emergency supplies were accounted for. They were. Then I called the police and filed a report.

As I went about my business today, I was thinking about the nature of stealing. Why would someone want to steal a radio of no value? Had I caught the thief, he very likely would have sustained a trip to the hospital before jail. Why risk it?

Then I thought about how as a musician and writer, there have been times that I have "stolen" things. Maybe a technique or idea that helps me better understand my craft.

What I'm saying is that even an act that reeks of negativity, like stealing, isn't always black and white. There's a gray area where stealing, can actually help us. The duality of stealing is summed up by this quote:

"All stealing is comparative. If you come to absolutes, pray who does not steal?"-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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