Friday, March 23, 2007

Experiencing The "Wow" Of Life

Even though I am a middle aged man, I sometimes feel much younger and even a little immature when I am around some young people and even a few of my own generation. There seems to be many people who are very driven and earnest. They are so serious about life. Although I take much of life seriously, my goal is to enjoy it rather than endure it. I have , however, lived enough life to understand what the Buddha means when he says "Life is suffering". Even though my middle aged body seems to be falling apart, inside of it is a young heart and very active mind striving to enjoy the really important things in life. Last night I was listening to a musician named Warren Zevon. He died of cancer a few years ago. One of the things he said after being told he had terminal cancer was "Enjoy every sandwich". As the days of my life accumulate, and I see that I have more days behind me than ahead of me, I think of Warren's words. I fulfill my obligations and strive to meet all my responsibilities but they are not always the most important things. Yesterday, for example, I completed a number of tasks at work and I was happy about that but the most important event of my day was picking up my granddaughter at the daycare. Teaching her to enjoy every sandwich is one of my grandfatherly goals. I hope to also teach her to enjoy spring. She should feel the wind and the sun. I hope she smells the flowers and notices the leaves unfolding and blooming on the trees and bushes. She needs to notice the birds in the sky and squirrels on the ground. She needs to get dirty once in while. She will grow from a child into a woman but I hope she never loses her sense of wonder and awe. She and I took a walk in the neighborhood last night doing all these things. At one point while touch a blooming daffodil she exclaimed "Wow"! She also started running like the wind and I thought I would have a heart attack before I caught her. If you don't have at least one experience a day where you can say "Wow"!, your day is lacking something.

Speaking of feeling young and immature, another big rock concert is coming to Churchill Downs. Back in late September I saw the Rolling Stones there. It was announced a few days ago that the Police will be there this summer. I know many of you weren't alive in the sixties but some of you surely remember the eighties. The Police were big in those days. One of still a major artist. Anyway, I plan on dragging my tired body out to the big show one more time wearing my rock and roll shoes. Actually, I will be doing this in two weeks when I head north to Columbus, Ohio to see Eric Clapton. Rock and roll keeps me young and reminds me that music is joy and experiencing joy and happiness is what life is all about. Wow!

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