…and the Happiness of Pursuit

“Are you going to watch the game today?” my friend asked. It hit me. I haven’t watched a game completely through in the last two years. I don’t follow any teams in any sport anymore. It used to be a big damned deal to me.

My television is hardly ever on. I cancelled everything but the most crude of cable service when I moved. Something has changed in these  last years. I spend more time in pursuit of change than entertainment. My free time is spent with a small and dear band of friends from here and across the pond who need little more than some space, a glass of something red, music (ideally live), and a laugh. Books, my dog, my guitar, my bike in the woods, my kayak in the river, and conversation with such significant people have become the stuff of time away from the executive payroll.

In this mid-afternoon of my life, I find there is much to say and less to be consumed. I have sold or given away most of what I acquired over my baby boomer evolution. What’s next? Lyle Lovett in singing Guy Clark’s lyrical masterpiece said it so well:

Step Inside This House

That picture hangin’ on the wall
Was painted by a friend
He gave it to me all down and out
When he owed me ten
Now it doesn’t look like much I guess
But it’s all that’s left of him
And it sure is nice from right over here
When the light’s a little dim

Step inside my house Babe
I’ll sing for you a song
I’ll tell you ’bout where I’ve been
It shouldn’t take too long
I’ll show you all the things I own
My treasures you might say
Couldn’t be more’n ten dollars worth
But they brighten up my day

Here’s a book of poems I got
From a girl I used to know
I guess I read it front to back
Fifty times or so
It’s all about the good life
And stayin’ at ease with the world
It’s funny how I love that book
And I never loved that girl

Hold this piece of glass
Up to the light comin’ through the door
It’s a prism glass I found on the road
Can you see that little rainbow
Well it’s not really a prism I guess
It just broke in a funny way
I found it on my way from Texas
Headed for L.A.

This guitar was given me
By old man Thomas Gray
It’s not too much to look at
But I pick it every day
It’s been across the country
Four or five times I guess
Between me and old man Tom
It never got much rest

Well that’s about all I own
And all I care to I guess
Except this pair of boots
And that funny yellow vest
And that leather jacket and leather bag
And hat hangin’ on the wall
Just so it’s not too much to carry
Could I see you again next Fall

Guy Clark (sung best by Lyle Lovett)

Yes, I have much to say, sometimes if not only for myself. My pursuits are my happiness at this point. Considering ways to reduce poverty, improve delivery of health, expand my mind and my heart, maybe some travel. I may ride solo, but I find myself less interested in acquisition or the win. The journey is good for now. I’m not thinking it’s right; just right for where I am in this turn. It is these nights of quiet, on a deck, digging the energy of a little suburban village that turns me on. Then, mid-week there will be toasts and music and the company of these incredible humans – now family – that dance and laugh and share each others’ burdens and joys for a few hours. I will walk from that place in the late hour and be so reminded of why I am here.

Step inside this house. I did. They Brighten Up My Day.


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