Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flensing for Me

Flensing, as you'll recall from your late middle school educational period, is the activity of removing the layer of blubber from whales, walruses, or other arctic mammals both to set it aside for use and to get at the meat. Using a "flensing tool", whalers would work the whales over and pull the blubber off in strips for use later.

Why flensing? It occurs to me that this is part of what I am continuing to seek to do, both through this blog, my other writing, and my thoughts: I'm trying to cut away at the interfering layers (as Benjamin Franklin said, "What you seem to be, be really") to get down at the core of who I am and what I want. Time is limited, and I can't really afford the luxury of messing around, continuing to work at the blubber level, thinking that "someday" I'll have the luxury of doing the things that are truly important - the fact is, I really don't have anything beyond the now.

I have a sign in my office that I read somewhere that I try to look at once a day: "Why are you doing this? What is the expected outcome?"

If anything, I should be asking that question more, not less.

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