Waiting and Listening

Mark was wise beyond his 33 years. Since he was killed in January, I’ve often reflected on his wisdom—where he gathered it from—and maybe more important, his ongoing commitment to cultivate it.

He reminded me time and time again of the efficacy of stepping back from something that I lacked perspective on. Often, this “thing” would be (at the time) a source of dissonance and more often than not, causing me to get tangled up in anger, frustration, and anxiety.

I believe that Mark’s daily discipline of meditation was teaching him the need (and importance) of creating space from those things that create emotional “white noise” in our lives. Sadly, I no longer get to bounce things his way. Maybe that’s why I’ve been finding myself getting “stuck” in spaces that I should know intellectually are not worth occupying.

Last week, I spent far too much of my time fixated on a moneymaking proposition that I recognize (now) isn’t a good fit. Not a get-rich-quick scheme—but a career maneuver that had me twisting towards something that I’m probably not really invested in. Instead of trusting my instincts, I rushed foolishly ahead and ran into a wall. After a couple of days given to beating myself up about it, I am now able to see some humor in it. I’m also reminded of the scene in Animal House, the one where Stork (played by Douglas Kenney) knocks down the drum major and leads the marching band off the parade route and down a dead-end alley.

That sound of the crunching slide trombones was me, last week.

In the midst of my own stupidity and lack of perspective, glimmers of light flicker. Seeing old high school classmates Saturday night was wonderful. It didn’t feel like 37 years had passed since we were marching across the high school football field gathering our diplomas. The kind words and hugs received made me realize that people care and that I am still tethered to many of my former classmates.

Kayaking out from Sebasco Harbor Resort on Sunday and the amazing scenery and wildlife-viewing offered up by Maine’s rocky coast was pretty damn close to being perfect.

On Monday I celebrated 35 years of marriage to the best partner I ever could have found to go through this life with.

A week later, I feel like I’ve righted the ship and managed to get it pointed in the right direction.