Sunday, February 24, 2013

Good Morning Jacob...

Letter to My Son
Sunday, 24 February

Run Jacob Run

Good Morning Jacob…

It’s wet and cold here, puddles everywhere.  The rain’s been passing through for two days now.  Temperatures don’t get much above freezing.  Everything’s just about the way I like it.  There’s a real edge in the air, like a jazz ensemble with a mean streak – sulking piano, a sax that barks and agitated drums about ready to go postal.  I’m all fingernails on blackboard, using black India ink to scratch white off paper.  You want somewhere?  This is how it is when you find it.  All you really need finally makes sense.

This too shall pass.  You can’t keep throwing strikes.  Winning streaks have to be shared with others.  That’s the rumor.  So far, it’s held to be true.  No one life was ever big enough to always be sitting on top of the world.  Anyone thinking otherwise winds up like the Roman Emperor Caligula – hopelessly insane with delusions of grandeur.  On the humble human scale, there’s a rock waiting to stub your toe and coffee tables were designed to bruise your shin.  You get an A on a paper, knock in a home run and your girlfriend breaks up with you, all in the same week.  Life always finds ways to even out.  It’s called building character. 

Anyone ever admired in life earned the respect of others because they weathered tough times, accepted setbacks without excuses, made difficult personal changes to themselves, became more selfless and wound up a better person for it.  If there’s reasons why we’re here in the first place, finding understanding and self knowledge has to be a big part of it.  Each day contributes many ways for us to demonstrate who we are and what we’ve learned.  Most of the time it concerns seemingly small matters that often tests our patience and our degree of respect for others.  The truth is I’ve always found these issues challenging.  The more self absorbed I become the more likely it is I’ll step in front of you and grab that final sale item.  I’m really lost if I applaud myself for it, ka-ching! 

We never stop learning to grow up.  So much of what we discover seems to be about perspective and how much of it is centered on ourselves.  Always thinking what’s in it for me is a problem because its always – we’re never satisfied.  What kind of path to happiness is that?  Fortunately this doesn’t describe human nature.  It’s an exception, a neurosis.  I’m not one who believes people are born in sin.  We are born well equipped to live decent lives given the opportunity.  Being brought into a world of brutal situations and surrounded by damaged people would warp the mind of any individual just starting out.  It’s a very costly cycle that human society has been slow to recognize for the harm it perpetuates.  Each life wronged early on indeed becomes like a problem apple in a barrel and affects all that surround them. 

It’s been a good day, all and all.  Sometimes I feel as though I’m chipping away at rock, without certainty as to what it is I’m trying to achieve.  After today’s effort I’m no closer to puzzling out my final outcome but I sure like the way the chips fell.


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