Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Don’t Be Limited by the System
Do you ever feel like you are limited by the system of this world? You go to work, get a paycheck, and that determines your limits. Maybe you have dreams and desires, but you don’t feel like you have the right connections. Or maybe you don’t have the right education. It’s tempting to think, “I’ll never rise any higher. I’m limited to the system that I’m in.” But you have to remember, God likes to go outside the system! He likes to do unusual, extraordinary things. You may have a dream in your heart that’s bigger than your finances. It’s bigger than your education, bigger than anything that your family has ever done. And it’s easy to think, “Well, I don’t have the expertise. I don’t have the connections. I don’t have the right people behind me.” It may be bigger than your system but be encouraged today. You may not have the right connections but you have God—you and God are a majority! Your dream is not dependent on other people. God loves to take ordinary people and use them to do extraordinary things. You have not seen your best days yet. No matter where you are in life, no matter what environment you’re in, no matter how impossible your dreams may seem. You need to know God already has a plan. He already has a way. If you will stay in faith God will go outside the system and take you places that you never thought possible! He’ll take you way beyond your system and you live the life of victory He has in store!
To me, it's not about a conquest. And I don't have foes. What I like is the sentiment behind it.
Conquer your foe by force, you increase his enmity; conquer by love, and you will reap no after-sorrow.
-Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King From "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations," edited by Jeff Schmidt. Reprinted by arrangement with Tarcher/Putnam, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.
Months ago, I wondered if the energy I felt would go away. I even worried about losing this power, this energy a few weeks ago.
Rocket scientists use gravity assist, or a "slingshot" to boost rockets and satellites into higher orbits, and off into deep space.
This morning I felt an invisible gravity assist lift me into a higher orbit. I don't question it, it's there. Then, this evening, two words gave me another boost.
I allow myself to worry. To feel angst, sadness, tears. I let them in, and then they leave. They are never permanent guests. Energy, warmth, spirit, always--always--overtake them.
My writing is the manifestation of the magic that lies inside of me. The magic that yearns to be free. The magic that yearns to give. The magic that has always been there.
I love ideas. Things, concepts, thoughts, people that spark innovation, revolution and evolution. When I get an idea, the smirk and the twinkle I get must be seen.
I just saw on the web something I can use for my blogs. (sites.google.com) I can't really monkey around with it now (I seriously must become an international man of leisure), but later, ah later.
I'm stroking my chin like the mad scientist I am...
Read everything I have written. It's fair to ask this of me: Am I being delusional?
I'm happy to feel everything that I feel, right now. All the adjective to describe stunning and amazing fit properly. No drug can possibly do this to a human. I am full of potential. I am full of life. I am full of what I can give.
There's a lot of heart here.
Yes there is.
Plainly, it's bullshit.
I'm not perfect, I stumble, yes, but I try my best. But I'm sick and tired of these stories about how dumb, stupid, idiotic and insane men are. I'm tired of being put in a box I don't belong in. I'm tired of limits and stereotypes, and being told by society that that's all your capable of being. I want to go beyond what people think I can do. I know I can go beyond it.
To me, the article says that you're one of these 10 types, and that's all you'll ever be.
All I've been talking about for days and weeks and months is potential and possibilities. Being more that myself. Greater than myself. This article wants to put me in a box that can't possibly hold all the things I am and can be.
I am capable of being more than the article says I am. I do more.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The question comes up everyday. What do I have to do to be in the place I want to be? Truly want to be? There is a key piece of my life that is missing. I have a lot, and I'm happy now, but I want more. What will it take for me to achieve it?
And another question: I’m good at my job. Why can’t I be good at finding this piece?
They come up—it’s natural for it to happen. And if you allow yourself, you can be laid low by them. Knocked off course by them. Left weeping by them.
Something amazing happens. My heart, my soul, my spirit turn that negative, draining energy into something golden, bright, warm. Positive, transformational, urgent. I do nothing consciously to make this happen. It just does.
Imagine a ballerina dancing out of a spin. Or a running back cutting around linebackers. It’s sort of like that.
My capacities to give, and forgive, remain enormous.
I go beyond what I can do, and go to what I can be.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Here’s a good history lesson and a good life lesson wrapped into a good story. I won’t describe who the Pullman porters were—I’ll let you read about it. What I loved about porters was the way they handle the racism they faced on the rails—with aplomb, nimbleness, and, if I may add, a little subversiveness. The dual role they played as both servants and psychologists was standard for the age. They wore many hats, besides the blue caps on their heads. And I love how they handled difficult passengers—they’d “nice ‘em to death.”
One more thing…Look at the picture of the three gentleman. To me, they are the epitome of dignity, grace, style and elegance. When I look in the mirror, I hope to see these things.
Because over the past few days, weeks, months, I have been transformed. Reborn. Rediscovered. I was capable of so much before. I had always gone above and beyond before. And now, I continue to move higher and higher. Before I had a lot in me, always ready to give. Now, it yearns more than ever to be free and loose in the world.
We all have seeds in us that sometimes get covered over from time to time. Then along comes someone to uncover them, water them, nourish them. And we are grateful for them and their compassion. Thank you.
It may sometimes seem like I can't let go, or I am obsessed. I am beyond those trifling emotions. What has happened to me has been transformational. Every single day my heart bursts with potential, possibilities, capabilities beyond that of just the material. I feel like I can do more, not just for myself, but for others. I talk so much about giving. Because that is what I want to do. I can sit still and feel the energy rushing from me like a waterfall, ready to nourish someone.
There lies in me so much that wants to rush out, and I let it. To contain it would drive me nuts. This feeling of potential, of possibilities, is indescribable. It truly is. Maybe, it's like going tubing down a river on a warm summer day, sun warming your skin and your soul. Or like eagles flying in the thermals overhead. Or those dolphins gliding under the warm sea.
I feel like I am capable of everything. Doing, being, becoming everything. I want to showcase what I am and what I can be. I can be so much, that it makes me smile. I still yearn to be so much, everything, for someone. To nourish and nurture a woman the same way I am, and continue to be, nourished and nurtured.
So every day, it's the same joyous, wonderful, beautiful, amazing song. My capacities for being more than, and better than, grow. Every day, I go a little bit beyond. I love this. I want to go beyond, for more than myself.
This is my story, this is my song.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Which is the best example to follow?
Dov Beer of Mezeritch was asked:
‘Which is the best example to follow? That of the pious man who dedicates his life to God without ever asking why, or that of the erudite man, who tries to understand the will of the Almighty?’
‘The best example to follow is that of the child,’ replied Dov Beer.
‘But a child knows nothing. It doesn’t even understand what reality is!’ was the general response.
‘There you are much mistaken, because the child has four qualities that we should never forget. A child is always happy for no reason. A child is always busy. When a child wants something, he or she shows great persistence and determination in demanding that thing. Lastly, a child is always very quick to stop crying.’
Yet I am so thankful and grateful to have these gifts bestowed upon me.
(There are times when I write I feel the words, the emotions the feelings rushing like a waterfall.)
I want gold, yes. But only so I can give platinum.
Remember Tetris? That game with the blocks that fell and you had to line them up to clear them? (Admit it, you did—I had a Game Boy just like you did.)
The object of the game was to keep the screen clear of those blocks. Shouldn’t that be the object to life? To be free of barriers and walls? To be one with your environment?
I think so.
When I started out driving, I had the same kind of grip. My mom said to relax, stop stressing out and stop being nervous. Of course, mom was right.
Today, I have a very relaxed grip on the wheel. Maybe too relaxed. I hook my left thumb and index finger around the wheel and guide the car, making small corrections as needed. Relaxed, loose, but ready to react when the occasion calls for it.
That's what I am in life. Or at least, strive for. Relaxed, but ready.
I am grateful for this abundance of heart, spirit and soul.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Toward the end of the piece, there is a pullquote that speaks deeply to me.
Life, not culture, color, creed, or behavior, is the most important and universal value. Life is worth defending. This is the goal of our training: to protect life.
And this is great, too:
25 years into my training, all of the talking and philosophizing has really all come down to this:
1. Be a defender of life.
2. Keep going.
To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things of the universe.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Every year, edge.org posts a question for learned minds (and the rest of us) to mull over. This year's question is this--
When thinking changes your mind, that's philosophy.
When God changes your mind, that's faith.
When facts change your mind, that's science.
What have you changed your mind about? Why?
I have changed my mind about me. I am fine as I am. Yes, I waver, get tossed by storms. I don't feel the need to be a macho jerk. Being a macho jerk would blind me to the things I need to do on the path I tread. It doesn't mean I am not a man. I am. My vision is much greater.
Why? Two reasons, two women. I took a nutritional program last year, and through it I lost 50 pounds. But it is more than that. It is taking control of my life and paying heed to everything I put into myself--food, thought, emotion, passion. I can't pay attention if I can't see. Through that program, I can see more clearly.
And another woman, who I have an interesting relationship with. I don't know where it will go, though I know where I would like it to go. She has opened my heart, my soul. My senses have been opened by her. She has moved me more than any woman has. She has been a light to me, and for me. Even in the face of adversity.
Here's a theory...
The clothes I wear are a small glimpse into me, into anyone. What is key is how the person in the clothes not only carries themselves, but how they see themselves. I can wear whatever I choose, from a well-cut suit to a Canadian hockey jersey to sweater, or a daishiki. It's how I carry myself in them that counts.
This comes from a story about Barack Obama's style. What he wears on the campaign trail isn't vastly different from everyone else. What is different is that he carries himself much differently than Mike Huckabee or John McCain.
Hastreiter still sees a kind of cool embodied by the likes of Miles Davis, Mick Jagger or the beat poets. It is a 1960s version based not on attire but on confidence, self-satisfaction and life philosophy. The cool cats seemed to be living to the rhythms of a personal soundtrack. That notion meant something; it had longevity. Who would declare Jagger uncool even today?
So, do clothes make the man, or does the man make the clothes? In Obama's case, I'd argue for the latter. The clothes are the outward embodiment of the inner confidence of the wearer.
Cool lasts longer than 15 minutes, not because of the staying power of the clothes, but the staying power of the person in them.
If I'm wrong, tell me. Correct me.
Thank you for being my engine.
(The headline refers to a song by Robert Glasper. Every morning, when I wake up, I hear this.)
I wrote earlier that the mirror lies. That it can't tell you everything about you. Just what is on the surface.
I've been lifting weights for the past few weeks. Nothing serious, just some exercises to keep me active. Anything to not be a couch potato. I stood in front of said mirror this morning, naked. And said, damn, I look good.
Now, I am a humble and modest man. But sometimes, the mirror doesn't lie.
What can I do? Where can I go? What more needs to be done? These questions I have always asked myself. It's that cycle of giving and receiving giving.
Love. I can't help but give it.
- being in the White House, walking in the service level before going to the main level
- kissing a friend in Paris as she went off to find a book by a buddy of mine
- looking in the mirror at my six-pack abs (which is slowly, slowly becoming a reality)
Friday, February 22, 2008
Angels are love in motion. They never rest, they struggle to grow, and they are beyond good and evil. Love that consumes all, that destroys all, that forgives all. Angels are made of that love, and are at the same time its messengers.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
And, if all else fails, just be a happy little cloud.
(Don't get the reference? Look here.)
Sometimes we put ourselves into holes. We never mean to, but it happens. We become an underdog. Then what?
Then, we become Tiger Woods. And get out of the hole we dug for ourselves. Like he did at the Accenture Match Play Championship. Three down with five holes to play, he summoned his indomitable will to win.
We can get in it, and we can get out. Sometimes all it takes it sheer force of will.
One of my favorite sculptures has moved. “The Awakening,” for nearly thirty years, has been at Hains Point in Washington. The setting was perfect for it, with the views of the water and the monuments surrounding it. A developer bought it and had it moved to his new baby, National Harbor. A shame, because I’m not sure if the surroundings will fit the piece. But, hey, it’s his dime.
Why is it my favorite? It’s about coming out of the ground to breathe new, fresh air. For some of us, it’s about breathing anew.
The Buddha is your real body, your original mind. This mind has no form or characteristics, no cause or effect, no tendons or bones. It’s like space. You can’t hold it. It’s not the mind of materialists or nihilists. If you don’t see your own miraculously aware nature, you’ll never find a Buddha, even if you break your body into atoms.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Part, not all, but part of where my energy comes from is the food I put in my body. My goal is sustainability. I'm up 16 to 18 hours a day. I don't want my energy to wane. All the superfood, protein shakes, bananas, raisins, soy nuts, Oskri bars and green tea I ingest sustain me physically. (And before you get any ideas, all this healthy food makes those double cheeseburgers and that filet mignon with cabernet sauvignon that much more delicious.)
I am conscious of the food I put into my body, and it helps me be conscious of my soul.
That's what I feel.
That's what I want to share.
1. Design a mind-compelling blueprint for success that has deep meaning for you to complete.
2. Propel yourself into action. Never despair over the time it takes for your dream to become a living reality.
3. Focus! Concentrate on your goal, not the challenge and you will burn a hole in anything that stands in the way of your success.
4. Expand your thoughts as you modify your habits and behavior.
5. Be patient. Recycle feelings of anger and fear into joy and gratitude.
6. Be receptive and responsive to inner guidance and outer assistance.
7. Success in any endeavor is measured by your belief in your deeper self.
8. Walk in the awareness of answered prayer.
For the past few months, I've dreamt almost every night. I can't remember all of them, but I know I have. I don't get much sleep (five to six hours), but what I do get is very restful. It's one of the reasons (among a few) I feel amazing (!). My brain must be working me out overnight, cleansing itself and preparing itself to be better. To do better.
The body needs a workout. So does the mind.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
When I was in Paris last week, I passed a lot of souvenir stands. All stuff I've seen before. What did I bring back? Pictures. Coming around a corner and seeing the Eiffel Tower at night. Having a drink in a drugstore. Breathing in Paris.
And bringing back from Paris what I already have.
Hang on with me here. I sort of feel like this idea, this contraption. Are you still with me? Good. Here's the deal. I feel firmly rooted to the ground. My core is strong, deeply planted. But my heart, my soul, my spirit, and an angel. Oh, those wonderful machines. They are what propel me higher and higher. I wonder how high they can go, how much longer their engines can burn. Then I stop, marvel at their power and grace and elegance. And ride with them.
Still with me?
Then ride with me.
Am I really more awake than most? Modesty says no. But I look around, and I wonder.
(And just because I am modest doesn't mean I don't recognize what I have. )
A convertible would be nice.
On some stretches of highway, I feel like I am swimming and not driving. The sensation is indescribable.
I want to share what I feel and what I have.
Friday, February 15, 2008
My body, my soul, my spirit utterly pulses and tingles and ripples right now. And for no reason. They just are.
I feel l like a kid on a swing.
This is not coming from a sugar rush, or God forbid, something chemically induced. They are just there.
If I could bottle this, and bottle sex, that private island in the Caribbean is mine.
I’m not always so serious, so sober, so spiritual, so…mystical. I like a good double cheeseburger and a beer as much as the next guy. I like to sleep in. Be lazy. Yell, scream. Let my hair down (though I don’t have much hair to let down.) Wear flat fronts instead of pleats.
So now, I’m going home, driving with the sunroof open. And let people imagine how crazy I am.
There are a lot of people in this world who need a hand. Not just a few quarters or a dollar bill, but an arm around a weary shoulder and some words of hope, care and help. The young man who killed the five students in Illinois may have needed some comfort. I don’t know; maybe I’m presumptuous.
When I watched the Super Bowl, I saw an ad of a cartoon. A man was pushing a rock up a mountain, invoking Sisyphus. Finally, the man made it to the top of the mountain. The mountain was revealed to be a mountain of rocks.
The ad was for GMC Truck.
A little while ago, a commercial asked the question: does the person make the journey, or does the journey make the person.
The Louis Vuitton ad didn’t answer the question.
The word grates on me because there has usually been a but right after it (as in, you're an amazing guy, but...). The word has been on my mind a lot. I want to be more than amazing. I'm ready to be everything. I want to be everything. (Dare I say, right now, I am everything...? ;-)) A little ambitious, yes. That's why stars are in the sky. To make you reach for something greater than yourself.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I've seen and heard too many examples of men behaving badly. I've had my example or two of not thinking through. Their examples, and my knuckleheadness, could make me retreat into the woods, scared to come out.
I will not retreat. I will acknowledge the fact I am a human being, prone to error. And I will improve, get better, be better. I will see these examples, not as not how to be, but how to be better. Better for me, better for the ones I love. I want to be everything that is good for someone and to someone.
What angers me and saddens me is that, here I am, trying to do right and to be right for someone, and I see examples of less than trying, and wonder what in the world is going on?
No, I will not play small. I will not be small. I will be everything I humanly can. If more is needed, more will be given.
I do not feel sad. I feel like I can conquer the world. I just want love.
I’m not happy.
As a matter of fact, I am seething.
A (female) friend of mine got flowers from a (male) friend today. I know what you’re thinking—it’s Valentine’s day, you chucklehead. But the guy days earlier had sent her a nasty note, and she wanted a week where they didn’t speak (no, they aren’t dating—it’s a long story). She didn’t want the flowers, but it was too late—they were on the way. And the note with the flowers did not contain an apology.
Look, I stand before you naked. I have made brain-dead mistakes with women—cases of not thinking before acting. I’ve recognized my mistakes, and I apologized for them. I want to be better for myself, better for others. I’ve never sent a nasty note to a woman. Never. But what boils my blood is the reaction of the woman’s other male friends, who say basically she should take the flowers and just get over it. What am I missing here? What am I missing? Why am I wired so damned differently from every other guy? No woman wants to be treated like that. Right?
Admittedly, I’m a nice guy. Do I have be a jerk to land a woman? What is it going to take?
It all makes me angry enough to cry.
I want to be better for someone else. There, I said it. If that makes me different from everyone else, then I’m different.
And now, back to regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.
It’s not euphoria, even though there is happiness. It’s not melancholy, even though I am a little sad. It’s what I can give, and what I can sustain, what I can be—love, heart, soul. I don’t have a name for it. It just is.
I’m writing what I feel, and how I am, right now. And I am stringing together a lot of right nows. This part of the journey is incredible. It’s still missing something, but it is incredible. I have been touched by something special, and I want to return the favor.
What I have to give, to offer, is deep, rich, comforting, loving, giving, creating, soulful. If you smother a flower, it will not grow--that's common sense. I want to be the life-giving, life-sustaining water for someone's flower. Not only do I want to be--I can be. I have enough to share. I want to be all I can be, all I know I can be, for someone.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The glories of hustling to Charles de Gaulle airport early in the morning, a clear shot up the highway, as motorcycles split lanes and you’re riding in the back of a van at 90 miles an hour. You marvel at the serene smoothness of the highway surface. The lights whizzing by in the median. The tiny cars zooming by. The absence of drivers gabbing away on their phones.
France is a marvel.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Ten things you wish you could say to 10 different people right now (don’t list names):
1 I am everything you want
2 Thanks for kicking me in my butt
3 Your graciousness is to be emulated
4 Moving halfway around the world will be good for you
5 Calm down, it's ok
6 I'm sorry things are really bad there
7 I've always admired your selflessness
8 Thank you for putting up with me
9 Thank you for turning this battleship around
10 You need more than a dog in your life
Nine things about yourself:
1 I'm really more exciting than I appear
2 Things/people/concepts that are different attract me
3 I'm an explorer/seeker/voyager
4 I hate stereotypes, and 'roles' that limit
5 I seem strong on the outside, but I'm really kinda sensitive
6 My heart, my soul, my spirit continue to grow every minute, every day
7 I may seem slow, but I am always ready
8 I thrive on challenges
9 I play big
Eight ways to win your heart:
4 Hold me
Seven things that cross your mind a lot:
1 Perseverance does pay off
5 The journey
Six things you wish you never did:
1 Say what I had stupidly said
2 Left Brussels as soon as I did
3 Not brought flowers
4 Be quiet
5 Stand by
Five turn offs in a guy/girl
4 Being late
Four turn ons in a guy/girl
Three smiles that describe your life
Two things you want before you die
1 Be a father
2 Be someone's everything
My silence does not mean I am quiet.
Aim High. The potential is boundless.
Those six words spoke to me as a teenager. They still do today. My potential as a man, as a human being, knows no bounds, no walls, no chains.
This is what I have always done. I may not have been aware of it at the time, and that's fine. It's innate, it's in me. It is me. I am playing big. In every day, in every way, I am playing big, playing for more, playing for better, even playing to be. Not necessarily for material gains; but for the important things--the heart, the soul, the spirit. I will play big for me, and I will play big for someone else.
If I am obsessed with anything, it is giving of myself. I will release what I have unto the world, in knowing someone will capture it. This way, it becomes less about me, and more about nourishing and nurturing someone.
If I am letting go, it is letting go of this incredible and boundless energy that I feel. I want to let it out into the world. Touch it, power it.
I am here on this earth, this third rock from the sun, to fulfill my potential.
The energy I possess is the energy of a child, who can seemingly run and run and run all day, all the while with a beautiful smile across their face.
I can't swim, but when I close my eyes, or am still, I feel like a fish, a dolphin, gliding free and fast and far and strong. I have to learn how to swim to truly understand that slice of freedom. To feel the warmth of the water surrounding me.
Thank you for your gift.
I've been here; I'll be here again.
Monday, February 11, 2008
You can cover a lot of ground solo, but it's not the same as spending the day in the Louvre, admiring not just the art, but the building itself and its opulence. Or sit in a cafe--outside--and watch the parade of people march and saunter and pedal by, remarking on their clothes.
Solo is ok, but it's better to share the experience.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
You have a drink at the cafe Trocadero, in front of the Eiffel Tower,
enjoying its orangish glow in the night sky. Once the drink is done,
you navigate around the Parisian drivers, and walk around the corner
of the Palais de Chaillot. And then, it pops out: the tower, in all
its glory and glow, searchbeam slicing through the night. For the
first time in a while, you stand there in awe, drink in the scene. A
million postcards cannot do justice to what you see, and feel. As if
you are being welcomed through the gates of a paradise.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
I have so much potiental, so much soul, so much heart, that to not
give it is to not release the full measure of me. I want less me and
more we in life. I want to do want my mom and my teachers taught me to
do--share what I have.
So, when you achieve want you want, then what? You are expending great
energy. Will you have any energy left?
The energy I have expended pales beside the nurturing energy I can
give. My storehouses are full to the ceilings and open. Once the
finish line is reached, then, we can begin.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
When I say I have energy, it's not just physical, it's psychic energy, soulful energy. It's hard for me to bottle it--it wants to be in the open. I don't want to bottle it. I want it out, to loop, to feed me so it can feed someone else.
As a kid, I wanted to be a fighter pilot. I got all the books, built all the planes. But my eyesight, not being 20/20, failed me.
But professionally, I am still a fighter pilot. I endure long stretches of boredom for the short bursts of mayhem that always ensues. Then, when it's over, you come down to earth. And prepare to fly again.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Why go on fighting
Reader Gerson Luiz tells the story of a rose that longed for the company of the bees, but none would come to her. Even so, the flower was still capable of dreaming. When she felt all alone, she would imagine a garden filled with bees that came to kiss her. And so she managed to resist until the next day, when she opened her petals again. “Aren’t you tired?” someone must have asked her. “No. I have to go on fighting,” answered the flower. “Why?” “Because if I don’t open up, I wither.”
Ernest Hemingway was bet $10 he couldn't write a story in six words.
For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.
Needless to say, Papa collected.
Smith magazine took the idea and ran with it. They invited readers to boil down their lives to six precious words. Can you boil your life story down? Give it a shot.
Always trying. Sometimes failing. Never stopping.
This cover hides an intriguing world.
A black eagle soars into infinity.
Sakka asked: "What is the cause of self-interest?"
The Buddha answered: "It is perception of the world as one's object."
"How does one overcome this perception of the world as apart from oneself?"
"By acting for the increase of goodness and happiness. It is in this way that the world ceases to be one's object."
Studying the Buddha way is studying oneself.
Studying oneself is forgetting oneself.
Forgetting oneself is being enlightened by all things.
Being enlightened by all things is to shed the body-mind of oneself, and those of others.
No trace of enlightenment remains, and this traceless enlightenment
If you shape your life according to nature, you will never be poor; if according to people's opinions, you will never be rich.
(Hat tips here and here)
The other night, I was having dinner, and noticed an attractive woman a few seats away. It seemed like she was waiting for someone. Overhearing the conversation, she was waiting for a guy she's met online--it was to be their first meeting. And she waited. And waited. And waited. She ducked out of the place a couple of times, ostensibly to call the guy and find out what the deal was. I was in the restaurant for two hours, and the guy didn't bother showing up.
For the life of me, I don't understand why we men treat women like this. I don't get it. I have never stood up anyone, and would never do it. I am certainly not perfect (as I know all too well), but I have more awareness than this jerk.
I don't understand.
This manifesto was borne of frustration, anger, wanderlust, wanting to experience what's good, and three very good Peroni beers. And a friend's 42-hour trip to Brussels.
I don't make New Year's resolutions. If I need to make a change, I will make it now. More and more, I see the calendar as a part of, hopefully, 85 to 90 years. A continuum. Not separate pieces, but part of the whole.
But I am making myself a promise. There are 12 months in a year. And about 52 Saturdays. The deal is simply this. To find 12 cities, and have lunch in a really good place on a Saturday. I want to have a enjoyable, even sumptuous, lunch. One Saturday a month. That's all. Like Duke Ellington, I'm not asking for much. Only what is good.
This may become an expensive proposition. And frankly, I'd rather spend the money on someone else than me. But at this moment, I don't give a good fucking goddamn right now.
The list? It's a tentative list, subject to revisions. And I reserve the right to add and subtract cities, and kill the project altogether when it suits me. Brunch counts. They are--from the top of my head--Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, New Hope, Red Hook, Home (home home, not where I am now), Atlanta, Paris, Brussels, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Stockholm. Yes, you are seeing the last five cities right. One of these lunches will be a quick 42-hour jaunt, solely to have lunch in Europe. Why? Because I can. Because I want to.
This idea has been kicking around in my head for a couple of weeks. Why? Because. I don't give a good, well, you know.
I'm giving myself an out because, things happen. They do. Life intrudes. This idea may end in 24 hours.
In any case, city/restaurant ideas welcome.