I’ve been listening to a lot of The Flaming Lips lately. Good stuff, more produced that the other music I listen to, but it’s worth it. One of the songs I heard first on 88.5 WXPN FM in Philadelphia, probably the best radio station I’ve ever heard. This was when I was back “home” for the Swarthmore reunion.
The song I heard is called “Do You Realize”…that everyone you know, someday, will die. Woah. Gotta be ready for that, no? Just having heard this song has made me think a lot.
Can I really be angry with people if I remember this? Sure, but it put things in perspective. Then I thought of what David Kelley saus about traditional notions of compassion and benevolence in his book Unrugged Individualism. Well, I can’t find the passage, but I think the point was that there’s something wrong if benevolence is based on the attitude that “life sucks, and we’re all in the same boat of dispair, and we’ll all die anyway.” Kelley mentions that when we light a match, we only look for an explanation when it does not light. That’s an example of what Ayn Rand calls the “benevolent universe” sense of life.
But still, there is something healthy in my reaction to the song. Maybe it’s just that it puts things in perspective. When I think of think song, and consider a person I know, I realize that he (she…) is in the same boat I am, at that he is now alive and striving to achieve values, and that whatever the context of our interation, be it working, sports, politics, talking at a party, that this person has a larger, more important “project” going, that of his entire life. And whatever we’re doing at the moment is probably just a small part of it.
Also, Father’s Day was last Sunday. I’d always thought it to be a “Hallmark Holiday”, which it probably is, so I discounted its meaning. But then I thought to myself that in contrast to say, by father’s birthday, this day is to show appreciation for my father as my father. So that makes sense. Less secular cultures probably had moer of this, even though such “respect for elders” is probably more about class authoritarianism than sincere respect and appreciation by one individual for another.
Work is going OK. That is, I am enjoying it. Really, there’s just me. The question is “How am I in relationship to my work? I am either stuck, frustrated, cruising, etc. Sort of like “how’s the tennis game?” It’s a metaphor.
Ah, “just me.” That’s a bit frustrating. Perhaps I’d like a job where I deal with people more. At the cost of (my notion of) control? More on this later.
Softball. This is it. When else am I so focused and present, and enjoying myself in the moment? I find myself telling people to hustle, or making strange cheering sounds. And the hits. My hits were beautiful today. Line drives. Ahh.
But I don’t want to over do it. Last year I played so much that when I was up, it did not care. I thought “so I’m up again, big deal.” The “ho-hum” experience of the Inner Game. What’s the solution to that, once I’m there? Pay attention to something new? Thye ball’s trajectory, or try pulling to ball. (I did that today, with success.)
Time to log on and post.