Thursday, July 30, 2009

Learning To Be In The Midst Of Doing

Morning came quickly today. I struggled to get out of bed. It was overcast outside and that always makes an early morning rising a little more difficult. The accumulated fatigue of the work week is also more apparent on a Thursday. Some of the day there was a light rain outside. My morning was busy but I was able to have a quiet and solitary lunch where I ate chicken soup and got lost in my own thoughts. After lunch I had the rare afternoon cup of coffee hoping for a burst of energy that would get me through the rest of my work day. It seems that every night this week, except for the night that my granddaughter, Chloe, was over, I have been in a fatigue induced fog. That's not all bad. Sometimes it is nice to simply let go of all our restless and obsessive tendencies to always be doing something. As much as I talk about being, much of my time I am doing. Along with the Zen chores of doing laundry, cooking meals, and cleaning up the kitchen, there are my intellectual pursuits that involve reading books, being on the Internet, writing on my blog, or simply looking out the window while I travel the universe in my mind. Weaved through all of this is my obsession with music and my never ending quest to listen to all the music I love. Much of my upcoming weekend will be busy. My son, who is studying to be a priest, has graduated from college this summer so we are having a celebration for him on Saturday night. My other son is hosting the party so that takes some stress off my wife and me. Still, even the simplest of parties demand cleaning, cooking, planning, and lots of attention to detail. I'm pretty certain that my granddaughter will follow me home after the party on Saturday so Pa Paw will be quite busy until she returns home on Sunday. It is difficult to be a person in the world who works and has a family and be able to spend much time simply being. What one must learn is how to be within the doing. What does this mean? I think it means to be centered and balanced within yourself. In the midst of one's busyness you need to be still within yourself. One's inner calmness can be an anchor that keeps you moored so you are not tossed about by all the winds and waves of an active life. Trying to practice mindfulness and Zen by being where you and doing what you are doing supports your efforts and with enough practice and focus one can truly "be" in the midst of life's busyness. Of course, sometimes you are just tired and your body needs to check out for a while with a good nap.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lazy Day...Sunday Afternoon

I am enjoying a very pleasant, lazy, Sunday afternoon. The Moody Blues have a wonderful song on the CD entitled "On the Threshold of a Dream" that beautifully describes such an afternoon.

Lazy day, Sunday afternoon,
Like to get your feet up, watch T.V.
Sunday roast is something good to eat,
Must be beef today 'cause lamb was last week.

So full up, bursting at the seams,
Soon you'll start to nod off, happy dreams.
Wake up, for tea and buttered scones
Such a lot of work for you Sunday Moms.

It's such a crying shame
Week after week the same.

Today's heaven-sent and you're feeling content,
You worked all week long.
Still, it's quite sad tomorrow's so bad
And I don't feel so strong.

Lazy day, Sunday afternoon,
Like to get your feet up, watch T.V.
Sunday roast is something good to eat,
Now it's almost over till next week.

That's how your life goes by
Until the day you die.

My wife is out running errands so I am home alone with no supervision. Earlier I went outside and grilled myself some chicken for lunch. It was quite tasty. As soon as I finish these notes I will go sit in my chair and stare out the window as the Beatles "Abbey Road" lullabies me. A nap may come soon...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Quiet Evening At Home

It's Saturday night and all is quiet. Well, it's not completely quiet. I have a very large music collection. Sometimes it is difficult to decide what I want to hear. Yesterday I discovered Rolling Stone magazine's "Top 500 Albums of All Time". I've decided to use this list as a guide to my listening. I am going to play all the one's that I own. At the moment I am listening to Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited". It's a classic as are all the albums on this list. It will take me a while to work my way through this list. Like with books, while reading or listening to one, I am distracted and seduced by another.

I am feeling full. My wife and I ate dinner at a Japanese Steak House. I had a great steak and some grilled shrimp and I ate entirely too much fried rice. I love eating at Japanese restaurants. It is such a fun and entertaining experience watching the chef cook your meal right at your table. I took my granddaughter once and her eyes were big as silver dollars as she watched the chef chopping the food and amazing us with his skill.

Like many people I am on Facebook. Many of my friends are young. Activity on Facebook almost comes to a halt on weekend nights. All of the young people are out on the streets enjoying life. I am sitting here in my room just trying to stay awake until bedtime. There are some aspects of growing older that I enjoy. Lately, however, the idea of becoming older is starting to bother me a bit. One aspect of aging that bothers me the most is the significant decrease in my energy. I miss the days of my youth when I was out on the streets howling at the moon. If you are a young person reading this old man's blog, enjoy your youth while you have it. Soon enough you be sitting in your Lazy Boy chair on a Saturday night listening to the top 500 albums of all time while your wife sits in another room watching Christmas in July on QVC.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Cloud Of Unknowing

It is often reported in the news that church attendance is way down and most churches are rapidly losing membership. I blame a lot of this on the churches themselves. Although there are many good priests and other ministers doing many good things, there is also an abundance of scandalous behavior going on with churches and their leaders. The current news coming out of Ireland is simply horrendous. At this time in my life some would probably consider me a lost sheep. I admit that my relationship with institutional religion is strained. However, I still believe in God. Why? Well, I would rather live with my doubts about God than with the certainty that there is no God. I want to believe in something so I choose to believe in God. Admittedly I struggle with many of my beliefs and the spiritual practices that used to support them. In the mystical tradition of my church there is a famous spiritual treatise called "The Cloud of Unknowing". I think I live in that cloud. Even though it is a dark place, it is not scary. It is also a silent place so more often than not any interaction I have with God is quiet. There are signs in the monastery that say "Silence is spoken here". It is in silence and in the darkness of the Cloud of Unknowing that I am touched by God. I don't mean all of this to sound esoteric or cosmic. I'm not having extraordinary experiences. It would be accurate to say that I am not sensing any experience at all. In the silence and the darkness there is generally a lack of sensation other than occasional feelings of peacefulness. Just as likely as feelings of peacefulness are feelings of anxiety or restlessness. Still, I am drawn to such moments. I approach them with no expectations and I try to never judge them. In such moments, if God is being God, I am being Michael. In such moments we become one even if I don't feel it and the unity is not readily apparent.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stumbling Through Middle Age

I have a friend who is entering middle age as I get closer to the end of it. We have many deep conversations about this stage of life. I think middle age is a time when all your emotional roosters come home to roost. Father Richard Rohr or someone else I have read or heard speaks of how a breakdown is often a break through in your life. Not everyone has a breakdown but many have some kind of cathartic experience that kind of fast forwards their spiritual growth. I have never really had a noticeable breakdown or anything I recognize as a cathartic experience. My spiritual growth has been more like a stone that becomes smooth from the endless flow of water passing over it. This type of transformation is so slow and imperceptible that most of the time it feels like nothing is happening at all. Most of my life I have been a strong person who has always been able to keep it together and from the outside I may seem to have no issues at all. It is only in recent years that I have been able to perceive some chinks in my armor. I have come to realize that I have needs that stem from a sense of not feeling loved. It is a need to feel special in someone's eyes. It is in recent years that I have felt a great need to be noticed, to feel loved, to be appreciated, to receive affection, and to make a difference in the lives of others. These are not exceptional needs. I suspect that many people feel like this. However, most of my life these needs have seemed unfulfilled. I grew up with parents who showed little emotion or affection. I never received any kind of compliments about who I was or what I did. This pattern has more or less continued within my current family. I'm not saying that there wasn't or isn't any love, affection, or emotion. I'm just saying it was and is rarely expressed. Within my family of origin I am the oldest of six siblings. As younger siblings came along I felt pushed further and further into the background. I know this was not done intentionally but subconsciously I felt less and less noticed. I think all of this has contributed to my Enneagram Nine personality. I say all of this believing there are people who do care about me. My reality, however, is that I rarely feel it. I don't really know what it would take for me to feel like I want to feel. My personality type has a deep need and desire to feel connected. Oddly enough I am usually able to see the connections in life but I rarely feel them. I believe this lack of connectedness contributes to my other feelings. Part of my continued journey through life is to attempt to resolve these feelings or at least make peace with them. Feelings and perceptions can be troubling things. A feeling or a perception is not necessarily reality. Of course, to the person having the feelings or perceptions, they certainly feel like reality.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting Back On Track

It has poured down rain all day. The darkness and the rain made it more difficult than usual to get out of bed this morning. When I did get up I found myself wishing I could stay home and enjoy the deeper solitude that falling rain or snow seems to bring. Alas, duty called and there are bills to pay so I headed off to work. It was a quiet day. The falling rain made me feel sleepy throughout the day. The dampness outside made the office air conditioning seem to be on overdrive. Being cold and sleepy, I drank more coffee than usual. It occurred to me last night that I have gotten intellectually lazy. This has been exacerbated by the fact that I am under no obligation or deadline to write any thoughts for this blog. In the past I used to send out my thoughts on a daily basis to hundreds of people. In a sense it was voluntary on my part but so many people liked and expected them that it actually began to feel like a job. Admittedly it was a job I loved but I put pressure on myself to put something out there everyday and being the perfectionist that I am, I strived to put out quality thoughts that I hoped would make a difference in people's lives. Most of the time I was successful based on the responses I received and the never ending requests to be added to my distribution lists. When I stopped doing the email distribution I felt no pressure or obligation to write my thoughts. I got a little lazy and when my new freedom interacted with my evening fatigue, weekend busyness, and reduced reading, I found myself with less and less to say. It is my reading that generally stimulates my mind. I think what people enjoyed about my writing in the past was that I could write about Zen or contemplation one day, rock and roll the next day, and my granddaughter the day after that. I don't think I am anything special but I may be a little unique in the fact that my life has all of these elements within in and most of the time they live in harmony and balance within me. So, for those of you who may be missing some of my deeper reflections on the beauty and meaning to be found in the ordinary moments of life, I am going to try to get back on track with such things as the Tao Te Ching and books like Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now". It's been a slow summer for rock and roll but I will also continue to share my musical journey as it unfolds, and there are will always be stories about my life as a Pa Paw. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Savoring Life's Sweet Moments

I spent most of my afternoon today with my granddaughter. It was just the two of us. My wife and Chloe's parents were at the local Homearama, an event that would bore me to tears. Admittedly, a one on one with Chloe is not a fair match. There is no way I can keep up with her energy, imagination, or demands. At this moment I am barely conscious and I will have no trouble sleeping tonight. Still we had a very good time and I consider such moments with Chloe to be precious ones.

Two Happy Meals at McDonald's = $6.77. Two movie tickets for "Up" in 3D = $18.00. One box of "Air Heads" taffy, cotton candy, and a Coke = $12.58. Dinner for the entire family at "Turkey Joe's" after using my $25.00 gift certificate = $36.67. Spending the afternoon at the movies with my granddaughter sitting in my lap = Priceless!

The movie actually had a serious adult theme. It was over Chloe's head but I think I got it. It was a reminder for adults to never lose the dreams of their youth. The beginning of the movie had an element of sadness to it. The movie began by telling the story of the old man who was a central character. His life began with a desire for adventure. He met and fell in love with a woman who shared his dream. Like with most lives, the unexpected events and demands of daily life constantly postponed the living out of their dream. Before they could ever really follow their bliss, the wife dies, and the old man is left alone. Finally, in an act of courage, the old man decides to break from the constraints of his life and to live the unfinished dream that he and his wife had shared for so many years. Joining him, unexpectedly, is a young boy. Together they go on the adventure of both their lives. Although this serious under current runs through the movie there is enough action and humor to keep a child interested. I plan to watch the movie again when the DVD comes out. Although I think of myself as a dreamer, I also need to sometimes be reminded to keep my dreams alive.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Afternoon/Living A Paradox

One of my favorite songs by the Jefferson Airplane is called "Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon". It's basically a song from the glory days of the hippie dream. It describes a love-in from the Summer of Love, probably held in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Well, that was a very long time ago and I am not in a park or at a love-in. I am quietly sitting at my computer on another Saturday afternoon. It, too, is an enjoyable afternoon. For July it is a glorious, occasionally overcast, unseasonably cool day. I'm not doing anything special except enjoying this moment of nothingness. I love Saturdays. Often I get to sleep as late as I want though I usually choose to get up early so I can enjoy the morning. Most of the day so far I have been alone and that is something I always enjoy. A little later I will go get my granddaughter who is staying with my wife and I tonight. Tomorrow Chloe and I will venture out to the movies with no adult supervision. We are going to see the movie entitled "UP". We will surely eat popcorn and cotton candy. I'm not as old or grumpy as the old man in the film but I am already collecting balloons for my own future escape. Anyway, it's been an enjoyable day so far. Since I was home alone with total freedom I finally watched the newly re-mastered Director's Cut of the Woodstock movie. What is it about certain things in life that never cease to excite us? I have watched or listened to these musical performances thousands of times and many of them still make me want to get up and dance around the room or play the air guitar! There are few things in life that give me guaranteed joy. Music, however, never fails to please. It doesn't matter if life is good or bad. If good, it just adds more joy to the day. If life seems bad, it fills in all the empty spaces and cracks and eases the pain. There is no day not made better by music. There are other experiences that also do this for me. In nearly 40 years of visiting the monastery I never tire of being there. If the sound of music lifts my spirit, so, too, do the sounds of silence that I experience at the monastery. Sometimes I am a bit of a mystery even to myself. I am very much the aging hippie who loves his rock and roll. I am also the man who, while living in the world, has the heart of a monk. I'm not particularly religious, and surely a scandal to some, but there is much about me that is very much at home when I visit the monastery. I live on the middle path of the paradox of my own life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Longer I Live The Less I Know

Recently one of my friends, who is a minister, made the following statement. He said, "I really don't like to preach anymore. People in my congregation expect me to have all the answers. The deeper I go into the spiritual life, the less I know". These may not have been his exact words but they convey his meaning. I know exactly what he means. I have never been a person who required absolute certitude about everything but I have spent much of my life seeking knowledge and spiritual fulfillment. In some ways I am at my intellectual peak. However, more often than not I feel like my friend. The more knowledge I have acquired the less I know for sure. My life is full of doubt, a fair amount of cynicism, and more questions than answers. Throughout my life I have heard people say, "Ignorance is Bliss". In my doubt and in my unknowing I am content if not in bliss. I no longer feel the need to know and understand everything. No amount of understanding can explain most of life anyway. The world is a collection of riddles wrapped in enigmas. On many levels life makes little sense. We won't even go into whether or not life is fair. One glance at the morning newspaper or the evening news quickly shows you that life is not fair. We do not all equally share the riches of the world or its pain. The Buddhist teacher, Aryadeva, says in his text Four Hundred Stanzas, "Pleasure, when prolonged, is seen to change into pain. Pain, when prolonged, does not change into pleasure". Although it seems that the longer I live the less I know, one thing I do know for sure is that I will die someday. What I do not know is when. Death is the only certitude I have. As the Buddha says, "A place to live unharmed by death does not exist. Not in space, not in the sea, nor if you stay in the midst of mountains". So, with the certitude that my current life will end someday, and carrying the backpack of Unknowing, I will continue to blissfully and lightly walk through my life. Rather than mourn my increasing lack of knowledge, I will delight myself with the knowledge that I do not need to know. By not focusing on knowing I am free to simply be.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Picnic At Thomas Merton's Hermitage

Yesterday I woke up at the crack of dawn and headed down the highway. My first stop was the Huddle House where I met my good friend, Fr Dennis. We try to get together at least once a month. We have the most wonderful conversations that can go in almost any direction. Whichever way they go they are never boring. After breakfast and a short stop at his home we both headed to the monastery to join the monks for Sunday mass. Later, after mass, I joined another group of friends for a picnic at Thomas Merton's hermitage. It was rather hot and typical of summer in Kentucky. The temperature hovered near 90 degrees and the humidity was high. In spite of the heat I had a very enjoyable time. There were approximately 15 people there along with several of the monks. It was especially nice for some folks since they were making their first visit to Merton's. I have been there many times including two private visits where I made extended weekend retreats. Spending time alone in Merton's Hermitage, especially at night while the rain poured down in the surrounding woods, was quite a treat. The hermitage itself has changed very little since Merton himself lived there. Pictured above are a couple of shots from yesterday's gathering.

Chloe's Birthday Party

I had a very busy weekend and had little opportunity to post anything on this blog. It was a good weekend. My wife and I attended a cookout on Friday night and Chloe's birthday part on Saturday afternoon. I can't believe my little granddaughter is five years old. I can no longer remember time before her birth. She is the joy of my life and I also find great satisfaction in the fact that she loves me so much. I've never felt so loved or popular with another human being. My son and daughter in law are doing well in life. They have a beautiful home and seem to have a good marriage. Chloe's birthday party went very well and I am proud that my son has become such a good father. As one might expect for an only child and grandchild, Chloe did well in the present department. In the pictures above you can see her new bike and her Mickey Mouse birthday cake. She doesn't yet know that Memo and Pa Paw are taking her to Disney world next summer. Don't tell her or she will make me crazy for the next year!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Good Thoughts That Came My Way

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me... It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood.. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23.. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25.. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ’In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36.. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Lazy Days

In my youth there was a song on the radio about the "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer". Well, as this summer marches on my days haven't been too hazy or crazy but they have certainly been lazy. Most days I wake up to beautiful, slightly cool mornings. Some of the best moments of my life remain the quiet times before leaving for work when I sit in my chair with my morning coffee and a few lines from whatever book I am reading at the moment. On weekends I am able to linger a little longer as I drink multiple cups of coffee and I enjoy my leisure and the morning newspaper. Workdays have generally been pleasant and all is well in the workplace. My evenings have become less and less productive as I sit around in a daze or I find myself falling into a wonderful dream state. Naps are always nice but I don't like it when they steal my precious personal time. I tend to have an active mind and I often put pressure on myself to read or write. Sometimes when I feel like I should be making more of a difference in the world I feel better about myself when I am learning some new insight through my reading or I am sharing some new knowledge or reflection through my writing. Lately I haven't felt like I am sharing much of value. Most of my recent blog entries have been little more than simple sharing about what I am doing in my life. In all honesty I am not feeling all that insightful these days. In the past such feelings made me wonder if my well was dry. However, I think much of my previous efforts to be insightful were thinly disguised efforts to find meaning in my own life. Such efforts often wore me out. One friend suggested I shouldn't have to work so hard to find meaning in my life and that it should be more obvious to me. I was often weary of the search and frequently wished I could simply relax and enjoy the life I had a little more. Maybe my recent "lazy days" have been exactly that. I've been making a conscious effort to be more appreciative of what I have in life and less focused on what seems to be missing. These summer days I have tried to enjoy simple pleasures, without guilt, whether they be the joy of music, the smile of my granddaughter, or the success of my children. Perhaps it all boils down to learning how to relax and live. This attitude seems to go well with aging in general and the natural process of slowing down. I am going to continue enjoying these "lazy days of summer" and then I will enjoy the "lazy days" of autumn, winter, and spring.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Where Did My Long Weekend Go?

Any time off from work goes by in the blink of an eye! Like many people I was so looking forward to my three day 4th of July weekend. Now I sit here with a small sense of dread that tomorrow is Monday and I must get back into the work mode. I don't feel alone because I know without a doubt that all my friends and co-workers are feeling the same way. I console myself with the knowledge that I am employed and I work in a very enjoyable work environment.

It was a good weekend for me even though it has rained for the last two days. Friday was a day of total leisure and music enjoyment. As I wrote in my previous post I immersed myself in the summer sounds of the first Woodstock Festival in 1969. I thoroughly enjoyed this new batch of old music. Yesterday I picked up my granddaughter so my wife and I could take her to the movie before bringing her to our house for a sleepover. Chloe is the apple of my eye and she brings me great joy. She also brings me great fatigue. Once she has returned home I usually go into the sleep mode. We had a great time at the movies. We saw the new children's movie called "Ice Age...The Dawn of the Dinosaurs". She sat in my lap the entire time asking me questions or laughing hysterically. Pa Paw enjoyed the movie, too. Much of Saturday evening and Sunday morning I was sitting on the floor of my living room re-enacting the prehistoric world of mammals and dinosaurs with Chloe's Ice Age action figures and my own dinosaur collection. Today I feel like I have recently worked out at the gym. I am not sure if my soreness is the result of yard work I did on Friday or from crawling around on the floor like a five year old.

The evening is now here. I need to gather all my trash and put it out on the curb. Laundry can wait till another day. Surely I have enough clean clothes to get through a day or two of work before doing a wash. The picture above was taken today at Chloe's house. One of her dogs, Cosmo, is partially in the picture. For now I will chill out for a few more hours before bedtime and the beginning of a new week.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Living In A Hippie Dream

It doesn't take too much to make me happy. I came home from work yesterday and found a package on my front porch. It was the "Woodstock Experience" Box Set. It contained CD's with the complete performances of Jefferson Airplane (pictured above), Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, and Janis Joplin. I've heard bits and pieces of these performances over the years but I have never heard the complete performances, unedited, like they went down 40 years ago at the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August of 1969. It blows my mind that 40 years have passed. That's a lot of water under the bridge. I'm all for living in the moment but it's a wonderful thing that we have the technology to relive great moments from the past over and over again. I love it that Thomas Edison invented the ability to record words and music. I love it that Gutenberg invented the printing press so books would be accessible to millions of people. It's not likely that I would have the opportunity to hear live in the moment music everyday. That's why it's so wonderful to have recordings whether they were recorded last month in a state of the art recording studio or in near primitive conditions 40 years ago in a field on Max Yasgur's farm. Music and books have given me many joyful moments. Listening to these exciting, and occasionally ragged performances, brings back so many memories of a time when I was much younger, more energetic, and perhaps more hopeful since I was yet to be beaten up by life. A lot is said about how age is all in the mind. For the most part I believe this. My 58 year old body has had it's share of life's hardships. Even my mind has had it's share of struggle as I try to control its tendency towards negativity and cynicism. However, my mind is my only hope as I try to maintain some sense of youthfulness as old age attacks me from every side. Assisting my mind are the sounds of my youth when life seemed free and easy and full of possibilities. Today I will sit in my music room, enjoying my holiday weekend, and, at least in my mind, I will imagine that I am sitting cross legged in a farmer's field, surrounded by my friends, as we groove on the rock and roll sounds of our generation. Soon enough the weekend will be over and I will be back in the office returning to the illusory world of business where I am expected to be a adult.