April 28, 2017: Ecstasy, Disappointment, and Other Waypoints

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing or right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. Jelaluddin Rumi

There is no solution; seek it lovingly. Harlan Miller

I just returned from vacation, one filled with many waypoints. The airline lost my baggage in transit (it is still missing, some 21 days later). That was an unexpected cost—and not a lightweight one either. No check to cover the expense has arrived, though I got a free bag, an apology, and a $100 voucher for my next new flight (not ones presently booked). There was some weirdness with a company that began the day I left—I was requested to sign blank papers and get them notarized. Uh, what? It righted itself, though it took unnecessary work. On my flight back, I sat next to a lady likely in her 80s headed to see her 50-year-old son who was has terminal cancer and a few weeks (if that) to live. I wanted to be still, she wanted—needed—to talk. I could be still and listen, so I did. She was a delightful being, saddened. When I returned, a former lady-friend called and we really got into it, both of us avoiding the notions of Rumi and Miller mentioned above. In the middle of the bookends of vacation, I had a bevy of good interactions with the folks I was visiting, who also know how to get into it, and something about how to get out of getting into it.

The passive aggressives at work abound, the drought in Southern California temporarily abated. The earth around here is greener, the fire danger increasing. Politics are so dysfunctional it’s insane. Some “leaders” have public cash cows at their disposal and only enough interest in the “little folks” to maintain that access. The rest of us walk a multitude of razor edges not at all blunted by those who made flamboyant promises. Many of us believe, but do little else. Spring newborns are alive with wonder. Many remain curious and enchanted by new learning. Some don’t care, at least for now.

If I could paint, I’d paint a world of disconnected people with no ears and big mouths emitting sounds that only circle back to them. On the same canvas I’d paint a world of connected people with no mouths, but ears alert and eyes filled with intelligent innocence and wonder. I have no idea how to paint it, and only a little idea about how to express it.

I’m nearly 70 now and retiring is a minimum of 14 months away and maybe 26. But something is afoot and I can’t tell if it’s a journey from caterpillar to butterfly or lunk to lump.

There are many waypoints. Some are good, some bad, some so-what. Whether lunk or lump or caterpillar or butterfly, I’ve observed things change. I’m glad it does, however I label the waypoint.

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