Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mind Jamming

It promises to be a very busy weekend. I've been wanting to go see the new Rolling Stones concert film. I know it's only rock and roll but I like it. I will probably go tonight. Why would I go on a Friday night when I am normally exhausted from the demands of the work week? Tonight is probably the only spare time I will have this weekend. Sometime over the weekend my wife needs to run an errand with her mother and I need to visit my father in the nursing home. My wife is giving our bedroom a makeover and needs to go shopping. Chloe will come over on Saturday night so my son and his wife can attend Thunder over Louisville. O yes, I need to drive to the monastery on Sunday for my monthly meeting and I have already delayed that a week. There was a time I thought my life would be less busy at this age. After all, I have raised my children and they are out of the house. I guess I was naive when I was younger. It never occurred to me that one day parents would be needy, grandchildren might want to visit, and the Rolling Stones would still be going strong after 40 years. I really don't mind any of this but my weekends are sometimes more hectic and demanding than my work days. Sometimes you hear people say, "Get a life"! Well, I have a life and this weekend is proof.

I am generally happy and usually content. I have noticed that when I do not feel this way it is usually because I am too focused on what I think I don't have and I am not grateful enough for what I do have. Too much time being distracted from what you think is missing can blind you to the blessings of your life.

One of my favorite things about most of the music I listen to is when musicians "jam". Jamming is when you leave the confines of a song and just let the muse take you where it will. Jazz music has always done this and many rock and roll bands do the same. Back in the 90's many bands began to be referred to as "Jambands". My favorite band, the Grateful Dead, are regarded as the original jam band. Sometimes when I read my daily thoughts I wonder how I began with one thought and ended up somewhere I never intended to go. Well, when I am writing I doing a kind of "mind jamming". The majority of my daily thoughts are completely spontaneous and written in a stream of consciousness manner. Like musical jamming, sometimes you end up with something pretty good and creative. Other times it is merely unfocused noodling. My daily thoughts are rarely thought out in advance and I don't usually have the luxury of writing them with the care that one might put into a school paper. I go where the Spirit leads me. Occasionally I find my way to a clearing where the light of the sun illuminates everything and other times I get lost and stumble my way down a dark path in heavy fog. Wherever I end up, thanks for hanging in there with me.

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