You know, art can be risky. Kind of like thinking. When ideas bounce out of our heads, they might be fresh and profound but that doesn’t make them relevant or worthy. It only makes them original and maybe acknowledged. Creating is the point.

A friend, who has a smile like a force, recently wrote about the difference between intelligence and wisdom, saying that those who accumulate information and knowledge are excellent fact absorbers, but the smartest person on the planet is not necessarily the wisest. Those who are wise wade through data presented by those who are smart and pluck what is true. Do they decide between good and evil?

Another friend, who has a smile like a Pepsodent poster, was on Hwy. 62, two turns down from Angler’s (the extra sharp, steep curve) going east toward town. She had a flat tire. She’s 65, the temperature was 95, it was 2:55 on Labor Day Sunday, and there was a lot of traffic going either too fast or faster.

She’s of the age where we all traded Triple A for Air Evac, so she was in a quandary. She was slightly pulled off the highway, and 20 or 30 cars went by with drivers either not noticing, looking away, or speeding up. This was utter danger. She called an 81-year-old man who always responds, but now, really.

Then a car stopped. A man, his wife, and their children were so packed in they all had to sit up straight. The driver must have once been a Boy Scout because he had chocks! He blocked the three healthy wheels and changed her tire. He told her they lived in Green Forest. Other than that, all he said was, “Sweet Baby Jesus please don’t let us die today.”

She’s an artist who has been a healthcare professional for 40 years. The man who helped her wore a t-shirt with a psalm on it.

Then the 81-year-old man arrived and took her bad tire back to his garage to plug it.

Wouldn’t you know, he’s my neighbor whose garage has a refrigerator and a woodstove. He invited her to Sunday beer.

The three of us instantly started ranting. We talked about vaccinations, agreeing that those who don’t want the shots shouldn’t be labeled anti-vaxxers any more than those who do want the shots should be called pro-vaxxers. It is a personal health decision, not for the government, church, big pharma, family or community to decide. Getting this particular shot should not be called a patriotic duty, but it is.

Then poof, there we were, cussing politicians. We all had assumed that when Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden, our president, Barack Obama, would get on TV and say, “Mission accomplished. We’re leaving Afghansitan.”

That didn’t happen. Our president and vice president decided to send more troops to Afghanistan, and we went along with it. And now we’re anxious because we left.

We delved into Texas abortion laws and decided why not stop pregnancy at the source? Vasectomies. But people get uncomfortable discussing regulating men’s health.

It’s kind of like getting a shot or a flat tire. Do what you need to do when you need to do it.

And always help someone, even if they’re an artist.

Then, let go of it and get on with it.

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