Leaving the factory

“I dedicate this song to the working man, for every man that puts in 
Eight or 10 hard hours a day of work and toil and sweat 
Always got somebody looking down his neck 
Tring to get more out of him than he really ought to have to put in” 
-Johnny Cash, “Oney

This man in Johnny Cash’s famous “Oney” works every day with an oppressive middle, micromanager over his head down at the factory. The character is on his day of atonement — er, retirement — and is leaving behind the factory and Oney, who is said to have helped make the man who is today.

But the story’s subject has something up his sleeve: years and years of muscle building to “give old Oney his.”

I bet you’ve got an “Oney.” Probably not a person, though it could be, but something looming over you. Keeping you at a grindstone you don’t want to be at. Maybe it keeps you answering emails. Maybe it scares you from writing that novel. Maybe it keeps you from the girl (or guy).

Cash’s character waits until 4:30 p.m. before his retirement to take care of Oney. That’s probably 50 years of the man’s life wasted in a factory being a cog and squirming under someone’s thumb. And 50 years too late.

Not so with us.

Who cares what time the clock says it is. Now, it's 4:30. Time to give your Oney — your Resistance, your nagging Fear — a hard, proverbial right hook and clock out forever.

Go do the art you were made to do. Without Oney.

Cause you don’t need him holding you to the fire.