Get Off of My Lawn
by Jake Block
When I was younger, I used to get a kick out of the idea of the stereotypical “old guy,” sitting on his front porch, shaking his cane and yelling. “Hey! You kids get off of my lawn!” It seemed to me that he was either in need of a good laxative, or was just an angry old man, but now that I have spent a lifetime tending my lawn and garden, I can see how it can be irritating as hell to have someone trample it underfoot. It’s especially galling when that person can’t keep their yard up and lives in the disheveled eyesore down the street.
It’s not easy to build and maintain a well-manicured lawn. My house sits on over an acre of high quality Zoysia grass, a hearty, lush type of grass that can stand drought, spreads well, and once established requires just maintenance and cutting. So, naturally, I’m going to protect it if someone is inconsiderate enough to assume that just because they live in the same town as me, and it might look like a park, it’s not HIS park, but mine. Leaving his trash as he crosses the area, or letting his dog shit on it is not only a sign of disrespect, but a display of ignorance that isn’t to be accepted or tolerated.
The same can be said about the places we cultivate on the Left-Hand Path. It’s a path we forge on our own, occasionally accompanied by a few hearty souls along the way. But we hack out a small portion of land alongside that hidden trail and spend year or decades in exploration, building and improving our stand, our place of comfort amidst the chaos and resistance that moving further on the path represents. Then from there, we can branch out along the trail, clearing that path and inching our way deeper into the darkening distance, hopefully toward our end goals of enlightenment, power, strength, or whatever we call “our bliss.”
Those who follow well marked trails assume that they own, or at least share in the efforts of those who toiled. They somehow feel that they can criticize and pontificate on the things of which they have read in books, or on their computer screens in the darkness of their dingy rooms. They’ve not mastered their lives, and show it in the things they post, needing others to help them understand their failures “out there,” all the while expecting to be treated like warriors or explorers “in here.” They know not that excuses are the lame and lazy pronunciations of the faint of heart, as they retreat to the web and seek solace and comfort for the lives they lead.
The Left-Hand Path is no place for the timid, the cowed or the whining complainer. Nor is it a place for those yet to be tried at the gaping abyss to declare that they are their own gods. The mouse sees god as the one who provides the cheese. The lion snatches his sustenance from the slavering jaws that seek to prevent his journey, and with each battle he gains a bit of wisdom to use in the future, somewhere along the path. DEEDS NOT WORDS emblazon the signs along the way. Reading a book is not the battle, but a recounting of the battles of those who have gone before, and the first piece of wisdom travelers on this dark path gain is to KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
So, my friends, those intrepidly leading the way, or those like me, long in the tooth and short on time, when someone stands on that clearing you have hacked out of the wilderness to call home decides to tell you how he could have done it better, having nowhere of his own on which to stand, take it for what it’s worth. Then smile, take up your cane and shout, “Hey, kid, get off of my lawn!” If he’s too arrogant or stupid to heed your words, you can feel justified when you ram that cane firmly up his ass.