Of Camels, Devils, and Swagger

I found this quote in my inbox this morning. It was from a “Quote of the Day” email I get from Philip Cardwell and it seemed very much in keeping with my message of your perfect imperfection.

“Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.”

G. K. Chesterton

It reminded me of one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite musicians, Tom Waits.

If I exorcise my devils
Well my angels may leave too
When they leave they’re so hard to find”

Tom Waits, Please Call Me Baby

Both of these quotes sum up the idea that we are a complex whole, an interplay of many different qualities that interconnect in ways we may not fully understand. John Candy and Louie Anderson built careers out of being fat comedians. Clearly they both maintained weights that no one would describe as healthy, yet this “dysfunction” was a crucial component of their personalities and served to create a whole that was successful comedian.

Personally, I’d be loathe to suggest that someone jeopardize their health in order to be “successful” but you see my point. Neither man would have had the same career had he been skinny.

That got me thinking of the dichotomy and apparent paradox of my messages, namely “You’re perfect as you are now,” and “You have the power to make your life better — if you want to.”

Life is series of paradoxes and contradictions, it’s not a process so much of “either/or” but one of “and.”

Which brings me to another of my favorite Tom Waits songs, Goin’ Out West.

Well I’m goin’ out west
Where the wind blows tall
‘Cause Tony Franciosa
Used to date my ma
They got some money out there
They’re giving it away
I’m gonna do what I want
Do what I want
And I’m gonna get paid

You can listen to it HERE.

This song is pure swagger and what’s so great about swagger is that it’s a celebration of self.

Celebrate yourself. You are your own personal badass.

I know karate,Voodoo, too
I’m gonna make myself available to you

In truth, there is no contradiction in my message. You are perfect, right now, just as you are, and you can make things better.

Only by recognizing your inherent perfection, by understanding the strength that is you, and feeling your own unique, personal swagger can you flex enough to affect change and begin to make your life better.

To our perfect imperfection,


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