Monday, January 12, 2009

Who Knew?

Do you remember how much fun a snowball fight is? How about how much fun it is to stay up too late, and get silly; just silly. When's the last time you built a snowman (snowperson?) Have you been missing this, for whatever reason? Yeah, me too. I've been a hermit way too long.

We have forgotten the importance of having fun. Over the past few years I watched the World get crazier and watched people do terrible things. It's been difficult for me to work up any enthusiasm for frivolousness. I pay attention to politics, I listen to what the bastards say. (keep your friends close and your enemies closer). I have a reasonably advanced grasp of politics. I am usually able to translate the bullshit they spout and figure out what it really means. Generally, when a politician makes a speech, someone is about to get sodomized. That hasn't changed.

Some of my friend will never forgive me. I bombarded them with email pleas to write congress and tell their friends, sign this or that petition.. well you get the idea. I set up an ACLU sponsored meeting. I was surprised to see which old (or new) went which way with that mess. I believe it is, now, generally accepted that we were lied to, and the invasion was wrong and badly handled. Torture, wire taps, lies, the attacks on the constitution, watching the Bush Administration destroy everything this country stands for,; there were many times I could have wept.

It's because I say I'm Agnostic (shudder) that my Christian friends discount some of the things I say. Could it be that they think I'm stupid or crazy; or that I am a mean or evil person, They obviously know me better - it's why we are friends. But, somwhere in thier hearts, these myth-believers (I kinda like that one, I wonder if I can copyright it?) Think I am deluded. That I haven't seen the light. That I am a godless, pinko, commie, fag. It's why they railed against my postions during the last Admnistration; inneffectively I grant you, but they railed none the less. It's why some of them don't communicate with me now. So this is for all my Republican friends. The one's who tsk'd like a Nuns in a porno shop when I railed against the war. The one's who told me they wouldn't vote for Obama because he's Black.

"Most Human dilemnas can be solved with the proper application of sunlight on one's face"

So I forgot. I forgot that the best times of my life, were mostly un-planned silliness. Think about it. Your "fondest memories" are probably about accidental tenderness, un-planned silliness and quiet moments of natural awe (or natural "awwww"), with those for whom you care. It's not being a "Rock Star" that will be your final reminiscence when you loose this mortal coil. Check your own memories again; what are the strongest good memories? The Eureka look on a child's face when you help them figure something out for the first time? The rowdy, cheeks-burning joy of a snowball fight, or sitting by the fire after? The scent of apple pie (cookies, turkey, or fill in with your own favorite:) cooking? Whatever it is I'll wager someone you cared about and some silliness or frivolity figured heavily.

So, after all that whining in the last post, my actual Saturday turned out great. A day I will never forget, I had fun.

Today I spent the afternoon with my nephew Austin. He and I are best friends. I have been busy and we haven't seen each other for a while. He is struggling with a new Dad and a new Sister and he is just turning 7. Whew, and I thought I had problems. He is doing well with it, but he is a willful child and he doesn't like being told what to do. I understand, and I believe it is a good trait to nurture - up to a point.

He is a rowdy, restless child and a handful because he is so blasted smart, too. He has been that way since he was very small. He and I started a- I don't know, call it a game. I would sit, cross legged on the floor, he would sit in my lap and we would practice calm concentration. Although, we called it rock and talk, if we called it anything. It included some gentle, nearly imperceptible rocking, and slow, quiet conversation. Sometimes, it included hushed singing or humming. Whenever possible it included sunlight. I did not mention the words meditation, zen, mantra or anything like that. I didn't bring it up to him or Mom, or Grandma or even Great-Grandma. But Austin was always less problematic afterward. Today he headed straight for Lotus position so I knew he was troubled, or in trouble with Mom and Dad

Later we played. I may be the only adult who pretends with him, kids are all full of boredom killing imagination and are usually discouraged from using it. It's one of the reasons we have so many frustrated, constipated 30 and 40-year-olds. So I pretend with him. I listen to his questions and give him straight answers. I don't lie as a rule of life and I would never lie to my best buddy - I don't have to, The truth is always better than a lie. We ran outside and shot the aliens. We hid all the Teddy-Bears. We talked about his sister, and about him.

He has grown too big for me to carry, anymore, as we discovered during our last outing to the Zoo. He has been sympathetic about it, and has avoided leaping into my arms, like he used to do. I feel worse than he does about it. Today, little sister was getting all the attention. She got the toys that could be opened, he got an art set with so many pieces, that even I said "wait until you get home". He stood there looking at me, after our conversation. I saw the disappointment in his adorable face. I reached out to him and he climbed into my arms. He rested his head on my shoulder, as he used to do.

It was worth going through a horrendous week for just one day like that, never mind two in a row. I just forgot what the important stuff was. I will try to remember that in the future. And to my friends who gave me such an unforgettable Saturday, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Oh yeah, Get some sunshine on your face.