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.

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