Thursday, August 10, 2006

5 Things (+1 Thing)...

Perhaps out of a desire to move beyond the stress of my paper, I was inspired by Chili’s post to think about the things that make me happy to be alive. Here are just some of the countless things (in no particular order):

1. Summer. Give me summer with all its warmth and sun, its long days and electric nights! I am invigorated, recharged and comforted all at the same time by this time of year. I just spend a lot of time sighing contentedly. It’s the season when I get things done, but when I don’t work too hard. I love to go outside and be active, but I also get to be introspective and read for pleasure (well, most years). I get to go for walks at 10pm without wearing long pants. I can go swimming outdoors! Not that the other seasons don’t have things I like, too, but summer is just so much better, so much more RIGHT. I enjoy spring and all its vibrant energy. Fall is nice, especially because the cozy clothes come out. Winter can just kiss my ass.

2. My time with the Wayfarer Community. More days of the week than not, I get to share space with at least one person (apart, of course, from my lovely wife and my darling daughters) whose presence brings me joy. I love it that there are so many wonderful people in my house all the time, and that they truly feel at home here! I love that they contribute to the peace and sanctity of Wayfarer House by sharing themselves by just being who they are. I love that Community Dinner means a whole lot of friends, food and fellowship. Each one of these people is a blessing of incalculable worth, and I work very hard both to nurture and celebrate them. If you’re a member of the Wayfarer Community, thank you! If you’re not, you totally should be! We’re a hoot!

3. The things I do to be creative. Muppetry, woodworking, writing and DnD are just some of the things that enrich my life. Sadly, of late I have not been able to do any of them because my time is necessarily committed to other endeavors (I need to be done with grad school!!!!) I enjoy being creative. It wakens all of me in a way that is difficult to describe.

4. Travel. Another of the things that have had to be sacrificed of late. In my lifetime, I have been to some of the most beautiful places on this planet, had some of the most exciting experiences and met some of the most interesting and amazing people because I said, “What the hell! I’ve never been there before…” Here are just some of the things I’ve seen and done:
--Swarms of jellyfish in Florida
--4 lanes of 90km/h traffic on a 2-lane Italian country road
--Getting burglarized at knife point while waiting for the bus in Bahia
--Spending the night in Victoria Station, London
--Taking a train through a forest fire in Texas
--The sun setting over the perfectly conical island of Stromboli
--Being babied by Mormon girls while crossing the English channel during a perfect storm
--Playing soccer with Brazilians
--Learning to play bridge from someone who you would totally adopt as your grandma
--Learning to dance the lambada from someone who you would totally NOT consider your grandma
--Sitting at the base of the basilica at Sacré Coeur with throngs of Parisians while eating rotisserie chicken with your students and watching the street vendors scatter like roaches when the light switch is flipped because the local constables are trying to round them up
--Watching real roaches scatter every time I opened the front door to my flat that overlooked the Presidential Palace in Rio de Janeiro--big, mutant, junkie roaches.

What wonderful memories!

5. Teaching. This is sort of explained in #s 3 and 4, above, but it’s more than being creative or sharing experience. It’s also kind of doing right by all the blessings I have been given in my life. It’s a karmic thing, in the way Rama-Kandra explains it in Matrix: Revolutions…

“Karma is a word…A way of saying 'what I am here to do.'

6. The Women of Wayfarer House. I’m a guy and don’t do mushy real well for public consumption, but my wife and daughters touch my heart in ways that continually amaze me. I meditate sometimes about my life before and I recall lots of good memories, but my life is so much more rich and satisfying now that I am with them. They are good karma and I am a better man, a better teacher, a better husband and father, a better lots of things for their presence in my life. To finish Rama-Kandra’s quote:

“I do not resent my karma – I am grateful for it. Grateful for my wonderful wife, for my beautiful daughters*. They are gifts, and so I do what I must do to honour them.”

I cannot hope to honour them as well as they do me, but I consider it a happy challenge to try.

* sic

1 comment:

etalstra said...

I am disappointed to read that you did not include dieing in New Orleans and living to tell about it. And, of course, the gold mine in CA that we did not-repeat did not go into, because we were told not to.......