Friday, August 26, 2011

Precious Life

My wife called after she drove to work this morning to tell me that a car almost hit her on the freeway as its driver heedlessly began to steer into her lane. Fortunately, she caught this out the corner of her eye and honked her horn just in time, and the driver swerved back fully into his lane.

Let this make me mindful of how I could lose my wife any day, any moment she is behind the wheel, or in any one of countless other ways. Let it also remind me that I could die any moment from one cause or another.

Life is uncertain and insecure. Yet, let me respond not with anxiety and by clinging to life so hard that I strangle it, but by opening my mind and heart to life just as it is and living and loving it to the fullest. And may I let my wife know every moment we have left together, in ways both subtle and overt, that I love and cherish her.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Another Missed Reunion

My 40th high school reunion is today. I won’t be attending. I also didn’t attend my 10th, 20th, or 30th reunion. I wanted to go to all of them. I want to go to this one. But if you’ve been reading this blog from the outset, I hardly need to explain why I didn’t and won’t go. If you haven’t been reading it, aside from this hint, I’ll just say that I would feel too uncomfortable among people I didn’t give myself the chance to get to know in high school and who have lived profoundly different lives than I have ever since.

I’ve been fortunate to re-establish contact via Facebook with some people I knew as far back as elementary school but haven’t seen since elementary, junior, or senior high school. And I’ve even become Facebook “friends” with people from back then that I never had anything to do with in those days because we ran in completely different social circles, or I was just too darn awkward and shy to approach them.

One guy in particular used to be a pretty good athlete in high school. He was one of the “jocks,” and I decidedly wasn’t, despite my brief and painful flirtation with basketball. I don’t know if there’s a word for what I was. I wasn’t exactly a geek or a nerd. I wasn’t smart enough or adept enough at anything to qualify for either distinction. I was just weird. A bumbling outcast largely of my own making.

Anyway, the guy I mentioned in the previous paragraph is Christian, and he has tried a couple of times to convert me since we became Facebook friends. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, I don’t need to tell you what the outcome of his attempts were, and if you haven’t been reading this blog, suffice it to say that I’m still vociferously agnostic bordering perilously on downright atheistic. Yesterday, he asked me if I was coming to the reunion today. I told him I wasn’t and briefly explained why. He seemed genuinely moved by my reply, and I was moved by his subsequent response. We connected in a way I wish I could have connected with him and others in high school. But it really IS true that late is better than never, and over the Internet is better than not at all.

No, I won’t be attending my 40th high school reunion tonight, and even if I’m still around by the time of my 50th, I almost certainly won’t be going then either. But I don’t think I will be around by then, so tonight is almost certainly my last chance to connect in a very personal way with a past that didn’t amount to much but was still a whole lot better than it could have been.

Yet I can still connect with my past and with people from it in other ways, as I’ve been doing recently, and I plan to continue doing that. And after tonight’s reunion, I’ll be looking at the photos and reading comments by the attendees and vicariously enjoying some of what I missed in person tonight. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Try...Try Again

Still working at fulfilling my pledge, and, clearly, judging from some of my Facebook comments this morning regarding "bag-dangling, Bible-thumping Republicons" bent on turning this nation into a "homophobic, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, plutarchic, money-grubbing, environment-destroying, militaristic, imperialistic, Christian fundamentalistic theocracy" I still have a herculean amount of work to do.

Of course, my characterization is correct. But I need to find a less hyperbolic and more respectful way to express it. ;-)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

If At First I Don't Succeed...

I've discovered or, rather, re-discovered that I'm much better at making pledges than I am at keeping them. But that's all the more reason to keep on trying.