Communion Of Dreams


Final countdown.

We’re in the final countdown of the Kickstarter. Like those old space launches I grew up with, counting down from “T-minus 10” and never being quite sure what would happen.  I’m old enough to remember more than one launchpad failure.

Ten days.

And we’re only at 50% on pledges to the goal.

* * * * * * *

I’ve had several “close calls” in my life, moments when with the slightest difference in luck I probably would have died. This is probably the most dramatic. It’s certainly the most graphic. But there have been others which were  just as close. A bullet which passed some two inches away from my right temple. A fall on a dark night into an unsecured excavation where I missed being impaled on rebar by about a foot. Other occasions, some more my fault than others.

I sometimes joke with my friends that the only explanation is that I’m a cat, and still have a couple of lives to go.

* * * * * * *

Saw an item in today’s paper:

Bank takes ownership of Taylor House

It was one of the first properties designated a local historic landmark. It set an example for high-quality historic restoration. It was a home. It was a bed-and-breakfast.

Now, it’s owned by the bank.

U.S. Bank now owns the house Robert and Deborah Tucker spent years and more than $1 million renovating. The bank foreclosed on the three-story home that contained The Taylor House Inn bed-and-breakfast at 716 W. Broadway on Sept. 17.

I know these folks. Not well, but the jewelry business they had prior to taking on this B&B was just down the street from my art gallery. Small business owners in Columbia’s downtown got to know one another, sharing similar interests and concerns.

I was surprised to hear that the B&B had gone into foreclosure, though I knew that they had declared bankruptcy late last year.

This is a fact of life, particularly with a small business. You can pour your heart & soul into something, only to see it fail. Same thing happened with my art gallery.

But only those who are willing to risk failure have any chance for success.

* * * * * * *

“Dark have been my dreams of late,” he said, “but I feel as one new-awakened. I would now that you had come before, Gandalf. For I fear that already you have come too late, only to see the last days of my house. Not long now shall stand the high hall which Brego son of Eorl built. Fire shall devour the high seat. What is to be done?”

That’s from JRR Tolkien’s The Two Towers, and is the character of King Théoden speaking after coming out of being beguiled by Gríma (Wormtongue). Here’s the adaptation of the scene in the 2002 movie of the same name, with the actual line spoken at about 3:15:

* * * * * * *

Ten days.

And we’re only at 50% on pledges to the goal. Unless we hit the goal, no one is out anything, and the Kickstarter “fails.”

There’s nothing wrong with failure. Like I said, only those who are willing to risk failure have any chance for success. You have to push yourself, challenge yourself. No writer or artist who is worth a damn always plays it safe. Same for any entrepreneur.

Failure hurts. It should. But it isn’t lethal, at least not in the areas I’m talking about. I’ve had close calls. That’s different. In this case, failure means only a delay in being able to complete and publish the next book on my own.

Ten days. We’ll see what happens. Help out if you can.

Jim Downey

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