Wednesday, June 06, 2007


One of my friends, who shares my love of music, once told me a story. She was sharing her enthusiasm for music with another friend. When she finished sharing her story, the friend said, "I didn't know there were still people like you"! At first she wasn't sure it was a compliment. Later when she shared this story with me I told I would have considered it a compliment. Why? I think her friend recognized her passion. Perhaps the friend didn't understand her passion but he could hear it in her voice. It's a great thing to have passion for something. I sometimes recognize it in myself when I am teaching or discussing spirituality and I also share my friends passion for music. There's so much in life that many of us simply trudge our way through. When we have passion for something it is exciting. When I feel passionate about something I feel more alive. I like it that I can still get excited about something. Whether it's beautiful sunrise, a blazing guitar solo, or a quiet, contemplative moment, I can still be impressed. I love to be in awe and I love to be with others who share my awe. How do you know others share your feelings? You know because you don't have to explain the moment or the feeling to them. I have shared many quiet moments with friends when we all knew no words needed to be spoken. It was enough to share the silence. There have also been many joyful moments in musical settings when I have looked at a friend and the look in our eyes told one another that we were mutually lost in the music and experiencing something like a Vulcan mind meld with the musicians. I used to have a bumper sticker on my car that had a Grateful Dead logo with the words, "If I have to explain you wouldn't understand". Any Deadhead knew what I was talking about. I admit that I struggle with cynicism about much in life. This is much in life that disappoints. However, I am grateful that I can still be in awe, can still be impressed, can still get lost in the moment, can still feel joy, and can still be passionate. I still have fire in my belly and I am grateful for that. When I feel the burn I know I am still alive.

Yesterday was Tuesday so I picked up my granddaughter, Chloe, at the day-care. Since she is just weeks away from her third birthday, she's been moved to another class with other children her age. She showed her usual excitement when she saw me. It's no secret that being a grandfather is the source of many of my best moments. I am in awe of her as a person. It is a wonderful experience to watch her grow and develop into a unique, one of a kind person. She's quite the little girl. Last night we spent part of the evening sitting at my kitchen table eating frosted flakes out of the box and drinking chocolate milk. We talked about everything under the sun. Eventually we moved into my music room where we listened to some Talking Heads. She got into the groove and soon her little body was moving in rhythm with the funkified beat of the music. She's a hip little girl. I wonder if someday she will be in a contest like the young girl in "Little Miss Sunshine" doing a dance that her Pa Paw taught her. (If you haven't seen "Little Miss Sunshine", tell your boss that you don't feel good and need to go home. On your way stop at Blockbuster and rent it.)

Recently I have rediscovered a simple pleasure. The mornings have been so wonderful lately that I have been spending some time sitting on my front porch for a while before I leave for work. It occurred to me this morning how similar early morning in my neighborhood is to being at the monastery. All is quiet and calm. This morning I was sitting with a cup of coffee warming my hands while listening to birdsong. Nearby a red bird was perched on a bare limb seeming lost in thought and taking it all in as was I. There was a light fog shrouding the ground and bushed. Such moments are ripe for contemplation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. :)