It’s my birthday – or it was yesterday, when I started this post – and thanks for all the Facebook shout-outs and cards everyone. A long, hard day at the laptop and then a long, easy night catching music from friends, and people I wish were friends, makes it difficult to learn anything practical beyond the full-body-massage-by-a-team-of-supermodels feeling that life is meant to be enjoyed.
Although, having a few pints of beer and listening to amazing, original music does put me in a sort of metaphysical frame of mind, and on a metaphysical plane, it’s all learnin’.
Here’s what I think about the human condition: It’s hard to live in a state of grace and to know at the same time that you are living in a state of grace. For most people the time between the experience of perfection and the knowledge of it is just long enough to make knowing about it useless: She was so beautiful, why did I not see she loved me? Do you remember that perfect summer? What a time that was… Perfection comes at us while we’re muddling about with our shoelaces, our breakfast order, our iPhones, and by the time we look up, all we see are the taillights. Saints and madmen can know the moment as they live it because they’re monomaniacal, but they can’t communicate it in any way that isn’t complete lunacy. I guess the compensation for them is that they’re in direct contact with their gods (and they’re welcome to it; thanks much). But sometimes we average people live it, and the time between the living and the knowing is so short you start to feel the sublime – the experience of your personal time both happening and being graced. You’re there, and you know you’re there.
All of which is to say, I had a great birthday. Check out this Simi Stone video or the studio version at the bottom of this post to experience a bit of the awesomeness that is Ms. Stone and her incredible band:
But what did I learn yesterday, and did I learn anything today?
While I had my head down at work, I learned how to hack past GMail’s authentication protection, which was reasonably cool and about as useful as pen-spinning unless you want to become a spammer. Still I needed to know how it was done, so mission accomplished.Later, walking the dog, I learned that beavers will actually chew the outer layer off a tree all the way out to the furthest exposed roots. I did not know that. The local beavers got chased out of the main lake in the state park behind the house so they’ve colonized a part of the river I walk almost every day, and left unchecked they will Kojak that part of the forest.
I learned that black coffee and burnt toast does not help a hangover. Only time helps a hangover and hangovers have a Doppler-like, universe-slowing effect on time.
I also relearned what great friends I have and how unbelievably talented most of them are.
Here’s a little more Simi Stone, to get you through the day and the night: