This past two days, I have had the pleasure of spending time with my two grown sons. They are amazing. Of course, you expect a father to say that about his sons. What’s most interesting is that they are, indeed, amazing. They are thinking, arguing, working, college-attending, folk. They are fine folk, in fact.
I listen with a deep humility, realizing how smart they are. Wisdom even creeps in. They speak knowledgeably about things of great and small importance. They are impatient with the likes of me because I just am not as smart, well-read, thoughtful and pissed off as they are. I am, perhaps, beaten down a bit by life. Life is tough for someone of my minor intelligence and lack of courage. I try to navigate the day so I can provide for them; my sons and my wife. They stand up for what is right. I try to stand up.
I have written about this often because I am not crazy about my abilities or the job in which I ply my trade at the present time. I do so because I love those I have been so lucky to have in my life. This family stuff really does matter. The rest is tedious and relentlessly uninspiring.
As I have also said repeatedly that this is not a negative outlook, per say. It is an outlook that upon embrace liberates. A contradiction. Not at all. It is liberating to know that life is a struggle, a disappointment, unfulfillable, painful beyond comprehension. It is liberating to know that joy comes in small packages, quiet statements of “thank you,” and salutations of a peaceful nod followed by soft smile. The road of self-awareness is paved with silence.
The last two days, I have been grateful to just be around by two adult sons. The fact they let me be with them is enough for me. You see, I have nothing left to prove. It has already been proven. I have been to the mountain top and the view is fine. I have been thrown off the mountain top; I have fallen off the mountain top, and I have been seemingly stuck in the deepest, darkest ravine imaginable. I’d rather be on the top, but the bottom is OK, too. Both are meaningless without these moments of the last two days.
Because in the final analysis it really is “life and life only,” as Bob Dylan once wrote. So be it. It is enough for me. In fact, it is more than enough for me.