If Something's Not Right, It's Wrong

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The title is courtesy of Bob Dylan from Blood on the Tracks: You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go - and it’s been a guiding light for my own life’s actions, starting as the guiding principle in the process of ‘‘getting straight’ I began nearly 50 years ago. How can I expect that anyone be enthused about what I’m doing if I’m not even enthused about it? I’ve always been reluctant to pursue an activity if it doesn’t make me want to leap out of bed in the morning. If something’s not right, its wrong … so why start out a journey with a limp?

I’ve been lucky throughout my life - and have jumped out of my bed for many different types of work in the past fifty years. And have they ever been varied!

I drilled for oil in the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia as, perhaps, the youngest drilling engineer to ever run an offshore drilling rig - fun stuff 24/7 [I got the assignment when I told the oil company I would call them when I didn't know what I was doing.]; I’ve searched for rare, antique textiles in the remote islands of Indonesia - and pieces I’ve found in the field now reside in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, other major museums and important private collections; I devised a unique physical-gold investment program that supported the manufacturing of handmade, 22KT gold jewelry in Indonesia; and, technically, built websites, mobile applications and professionally designed relational databases that organize complex data systems across an entire enterprise.

A lot of variety in my life’s race - and each pursued with enthusiasm and a clear sense of direction and responsibility. And now, I’m focusing this same sense of purpose and focus on comfrey, in a concerted effort to produce a clean and green, organic product that offers relief to myriad skin conditions.

The more I delve into comfrey, the more I become convinced that I’m on the right track. My heart is telling me to do this; I know it won’t make me a fortune. But I’m doing it. Too many folks, for too many conditions, are saying, in effect, “This stuff works.”. It provides relief to the discomfort imposed by skin inflammation, as well as subdermal conditions of Trigger Finger, pulled muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and hastening the healing of broken bones and sprains. It's all happening in the allantoin.

And that, coupled with my personal need to simply feel passionate about something, is driving this endeavor. I knew I was retiring soon. I wanted to be outdoors where the sun offered a good vista for my eyes, rather than staring at a computer inside the house. And, too, I knew that gardening would provide a LOT of healthy, ongoing physical movement throughout the day. It was true, too, that I wanted to build an additional income stream to supplement our savings - and to a definite degree, a successful outcome would be a positive experience. All this, along with my own unexplainable feelings for comfrey, brought comfrey to the fore - and a commitment. I’ve been encouraged by all the good that has occurred as I continue down this trail.

This embrace of comfrey has been most beneficial. The wholesale response has been encouraging, which allows me to get out and meet new folks - and drive in ever-widening radii (throughout beautiful Delaware County) to find viable outlets. It’s especially gratifying when a store re-orders because that means folks are buying - and for me, the more hands (literally) involved, the better for Catskills Comfrey’s prospects.

This encouragement fosters more creative ideas. Already, I’m planning on producing a new version next year that will be comfrey ’on steroids’ [Yes, I know, a terrible metaphor.]: comfrey with arnica and calendula. I want to position Catskills Comfrey as THE skin conditioner, the salve to have, the balm that can calm the inflammation under your skin, the ‘right on target, so direct’ way to mend your skin. The unspoken new, fun challenge next year is that I have to grow both the arnica and calendula, flowers I’ve never grown - and the rewards of watching plants grow from a seed remains a wondrous feeling fueled with a heavy deposit of anticipation.

Applause at any time in one’s life is welcome. For me right now, the literal growing success of Catskills Comfrey is a wonderful kind of applause - and offers me all the satisfaction and confirmation to continue following my heart.

Danielle Gaebel