The Medieval poet-cleric John Donne is credited with having said a number of fairly amazing things. But the one that’s always stuck in my mind is: “No man is an island unto himself.” I realize that this is the case, at least metaphysically speaking. But it sure feels like I’ve been an “island” — trying to get this project happening.
This is why I’m going to take the liberty at this time to express how grateful I am for the qualities of practicality and common sense that characterize my new assistant, Danielle Stephens. As has so often been the case in the past, Danielle seems to compliment my skill set by being strong in the areas where I am weak. But what I’m really so grateful for is that I am no longer an “island unto myself.”
On my end, you see, it’s simply necessary that any donations to my project not go to me personally, and that they do go to somebody like Danielle. For one thing, I don’t have any common sense at all, as near as I can tell after almost sixty-five years of fumbling through this mysterious world of ours. And probably the most practical thing I’ve ever done is to turn everything over to Danielle.
For another thing, it seems to make sense — even to me, who has no common sense — that my personal and business dealings ought to remain separate. This is especially the case now that I’ve moved into a more expensive apartment. Although I’ve figured out how to manage my monthly income in such a way as to make ends meet, I don’t even want to be tempted to take money from donations intended to further the project, and wind up spending it on personal needs.
This is where Danielle comes in. Her particular strengths are, as I’ve said, complimentary to mine. Consider, for example, what has happened in the past week alone. During the past seven days, I have finished my 2nd draft of the Eden in Babylon script. (This is why, by the way, you haven’t heard from me recently. I’ve been obsessive about making certain adjustments that had gnawed at me during the six months or so when I basically didn’t look at the script. It took me two months to complete the revision, and in the past seven days have been especially focused toward this end.)
So I got the idea that I probably ought to self-publish it through Lulu or CreateSpace, and also run off a hard copy of it to lug around with me and show people in “real life.” I didn’t know how much any of this would cost. But a few days ago, before I was even finished with the revision, I asked Danielle if she would send me forty dollars out of the donation fund, where she has been patiently holding the money.
Immediately, she advised me that there would be no reason to send me the money until I had actually finished the revision and knew exactly what I was going to do with it. I thought about it for a moment or two; and realized that she is, of course, right. What’s the point of having her hold the money, if she’s going to send it right back to me for no clear reason whatsoever?
This is where she and I differ – in a good way. In my mind, there is usually no difference between the forty dollars that I will “probably” spend in a “pretty good way’ at some point further down the road. In her mind, she needs to know the exact reason for the expenditure, needs to know that it’s justified, and probably even would like to see a receipt.
So – now that I’m finally done with the script revision, I’m going to go over to Fed-Ex, run it off, put a nice cover on it, and send Danielle the receipt. How can I go wrong? I am no longer an island!
I also want to express my gratitude for the two small donations that were offered within the past week. Without them, I really couldn’t have rationalized running off a personal hard copy of my work. With them, I feel that I am getting myself something that I not only can use business-wise, but that I can keep for myself as my own — a symbol of all the hard work I have put into this creation.
Without your donations, and the help of my assistant, not even that single gift would have been possible. So once again — and you know who you are — thank you for being so supportive of Eden in Babylon. We’ll get this show on the road yet.