Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Balance and Joy

Remember all my grumbling about Building Maintenance taking my coffee pot? I'm still not over it completely but the weekly support group meetings I have been attending have helped. Just kidding! I have, however, finally gotten a French Press coffee pot. It was a gift from Chloe's parents. It took me a little while to get the hang of it. It seems simple. You put coffee in it, add hot water, and let it brew. After a few less than perfect cups of coffee, I think I am achieving the delicate balance of the appropriate amount of coffee and the right amount of timing. Soon I will be a brew master in my own cubicle.

What does it mean to have balance in your life? Simply put, I think it means to have just enough of everything. I don't mean the absolute minimum requirement of what you need to be happy and content. It means working enough to appreciate play. It means sleeping enough to appreciate wakefulness. It means feeling a little hunger once in a while so you appreciate food. It means experiencing a little loneliness so you appreciate the love of another. It means sometimes feeling sad so you value laughter and joy. It means spending some time by yourself so you appreciate the company of others. The singer/songwriter Arlo Guthrie once said, "You can't really appreciate a light unless you have a dark place to put it in". Of course, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Have you ever tried to go to bed at night when all the lights are still on? Have you ever eaten or drank so much that you made yourself sick? Balance is found in the tension of opposites. Balance is not found in extremes. Balance is your companion when you walk the middle path of life.

Everytime I write about some concert I have seen, inevitably some one will write me and say "How do you know about all these musical events"? It's very simple. The Internet provides most of my information. I go to the websites of my favorite artists as well as my favorite venues and I get on their email mailing lists. I know about most things weeks or even months in advance. Of course, when all else fails I have good friends....and they know who they are...that stand at the mouth of the cave where I often hide They stand outside and shout "Mikey! Come out and play"! It is rare that I ignore them. Like many jobs there is some travel required. Seeing live music is worth all the effort it may require. Sitting outside on a summer night with friends and co-conspirators, enjoying the sounds of good music, is one of life's great joys. Add a few beers and a late night breakfast, and you have achieved Nirvana.

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