“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful;
for beauty is God’s handwriting—a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower,
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Been hanging with my friend Ralph as well as our buddy Brother Pablo so that we can engage in one of our conversations about life and how we wish to live it.
Told the boys about an unexpected opportunity that came unsought and unlooked for at a time when I had made a decision to go a different direction.
“Gentlemen, I had decided I had put enough time and energy into a specific pursuit and that it hadn’t yielded results so I made a decision to go a different way.
And then in the midst of my decision life laughed at me and I saw an unexpected opportunity.”
They asked me to be more specific and I said I saw beauty, sorrow and reality intermixed with moment and said that in the past I hadn’t taken a real swing at such things.
“Sometimes when you hear there is a chance to get answers to things that held promise you pick up the phone and call it in or at least you try to.”
Brother Pablo told me I must have seen with my heart and soul to take a such a stance because they can’t be fooled the way the eyes can.
I smiled and said I wrote about a visit to the kingdom many months ago and never expected it to lead to an open drawbridge.
The membership at the gym came with a free training session with a trainer who was young enough to be my own kid.
She started the session by asking questions about my goals and offered solid advice. She then put me through a workout that kicked my butt.
Midway through, slightly bent over, with sweat dripping from every possible place on my body she asked if I had any questions.
“Can we put on better music. This stuff is awful.
She laughed and asked what I would like and I listed classic rock and then used the Springsteen quote above to accentuate the request.
If I hadn’t been trying to figure out how to catch my breath I would have picked something like the following, which is far more appropriate for the gym.
You better get up
Now don’t you understand?
And raise your hand
Hey, hey, hey
I said raise your hand
But the reality is I needed a solid minute to raise my head back up, let alone my hand.
Even though I am certain that I really am making progress and getting stronger she knocked reality into my thick skull.
“Got a long way to go Wilner, you’re not even close to who you once were and if you are going to become who you want to be you better find the old guy first.”
Isn’t it a joy to have a sarcastic inner voice to help motivate you.
Give me five points for remembering the words of a wise man who said to remember the difference between vanity and sanity.
I could have gone heavier on several of the exercises but since I had someone watching I wanted her to confirm my form was good.
Good form goes quite a ways towards achieving our goals.
Tomorrow is going to hurt and I am going to be very happy with the Hyperice percussion massager I picked up last year.
Hell that sucker has already paid for itself many times over but tomorrow it is going to be one of the primary things that keeps me upright.
Inside the gym I wipe the sweat off of my face, thank the trainer for her time and drag my butt towards the exit.
She reminds me to be patient, deliberate and consistent.
It is solid advice and in some ways something I am very good at but always a huge challenge for me.
The freight train is rumbling down the tracks because I am certain I know some things and certain the gut feeling isn’t wrong about a bunch.
It takes effort to reel myself back in and so I try to distract myself. I think about a conversation from earlier in the day.
“Do you know what your grandfather used to say?”
“I don’t want to know because whatever it might be won’t help me”
He is smiling and the words spill out gently but he listens and shakes his head.
“Dad, I told you that won’t help me. I don’t want to be a father. I’ll break the cycle.”
I shake my head and tell him that sounds bad.
“You know what I mean. You made that sound bad.”
He is right, I did but it is my job and somewhere I think my own old man might be smiling.
“You know being a father is a pretty good thing, even if you guys made me lose all my hair and made me look older than I am.”
We both laugh and then I tell him that he is old enough for me to chase some of my dreams again.
“Why are you telling me this?”
“That is among the best endorsements you’ll ever get, it means I have faith in you. And sometimes faith is all we have go off of in life, but it is what makes it interesting.”