The Dummy Gestalt

The Dummy Gestalt

"Dreams where the umbrella is folded, And into the path you are hurled…"


Don Barone

Don Barone

Dateline:  Why

I'm the dumb guy here.

Most times when I arrive, I don't know where it is that I'm at.  Here for you is different than here for me.  Trust me.  Your there, is not mine.

I have made a career of being elsewhere from where it is that I'm is.  It's not a planned thing, it's not something I would advise putting down on your Resume, but if you arrive dumb, with an open mind, dumb, will not be how you leave.

I don't hear much when I listen to Braggey-Know-It-Alls (BKIA).  I once quoted a BKIA exactly like this:  "Blah, blah, blah….ME.  Blah, blah, blah…ME."

I never had to quote him again.

Advantage: Dumb Guy.

A few years back, some would say I was shown the door. I would prefer to say, a new door opened for me.  It didn't actually hit me in the arse, so I believe I have some leeway here.

I went from being mainly inside the indoors to mainly being inside the outdoors.  And I went there dumb.  To the horror of the BKIAs.

I was told I would have to write about the "how" of the outdoors, how you do this, how you do that, become a BKIA myself.  Become the dreaded, "Expert."

Me, the dumb guy.

I remember the moment my life changed.  Remember what I wore, remember what was cooking on the kitchen stove, remember the quizzical look on my wife Barb's face, remember the toy the dog Riley was playing with.

Remember when I said, "No."

"Nope, I'm not going to do that."

After 30 years of covering the "How," I knew now was the time to cover, to write about, the, "Why."

Why, outside.

Why is it, we go out there.  Outside.  Being the dumb guy, I knew all I had to know about the "How," you just open the door, and step outside.

'Nuff said on that.

Virgin Eyes

The Dumb Gestalt is all about looking at what you are seeing.  Seeing what's out there, but as important, seeing what's inside of you.

Bringing the outside, inside, your soul.

I'm going to make a confession here that may get me kicked out of some clubs I pay dues to, I'm called an "Outdoor Writer," which I am not.

I write of the spirit of the outside, the adventure of the outside, I'm an inside writer, writing about what it is that is inside of all of us.

A child.

Virgin Eyes.

The eyes that brought you, out here.  In a forest of "Hows," we have lost the chase of wonder.  Where goes wonder, goes our future.  Wonder, brings us everywhere.  Wonder brought us out of the caves, brought us across seas of sand and blue oceans, through valleys and over mountains.

The wonder of what's just beyond our reach, is why we stretch while standing on two legs.

I don't wonder how we do what we do, I wonder about why it is we do what we do. 

Tell me of you so I may learn of me.

I don't care how you got here, I want to know why you are here.  And then I will find myself.

All my writing is influenced by one desire.  To know you.  I believe that if we learn about all of us, each of us becomes better. 

And I have learned from you.  So much.  Owe you.  So much.  For letting the child within me, out.

Virgin Eyes.

I see the romance within.  The romance of the outside, ignored for the how of the outside.

And I see your stories of the outside, and they all begin with one or two things.

Someone asked you once, to come out and play.

Someone, opened up a door, and took you outside.

As you have me.

And every drop of river or lake that hits my face, does so because of you. 

And every drop of river or lake that hits your face does so because of the bigger, gentle hand, that held yours through the woods, that reached out and helped you onto the boat, that carried you to the left side seat.

Your father.

Your mother.

Grandma or Gramps.

In all the stories I have been told there is just one story line.  Love.  You are out here because someone loved you enough to pass on to you, their love of the outside.

I believe the love of all sports comes down to one simple thing, the love of the person who sat in the stadium seat next to you, the love of the person who bought you the ballpark hot dog, the love of the person who handed you the tiny baseball glove, the Mickey Mouse fishing pole.

And that is of what I write.  I am, a Romance Writer.  I write of the adventure, the love you have of the outside.

I do so because I believe why, to be infectious.

I do so because I believe wonder, to be infectious.

I do so because I know, love, is infectious.

Why, wonder, love….will bring the children back outside.  I want my legacy to be that when I write my final column, when I come inside from the outside for the final time, that I will leave more folks out there, than were there when I stepped outside.

And only then, will I say, I am an Outdoor Writer.

Not, until.




"…and the cards are no good that you're holding
Unless they're from another world."

Series of Dreams

Bob Dylan

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