Such is the tragedy of misguided loyalty practiced in the name of love. As a boy, I was led to believe that not hating the one meant not loving the other.
Leaving, I felt the awesome power of joy and love that defined his life – with none of the transitory, smoky mirrors of “stardom.” Suddenly, the gift he was giving us hit home: all things must pass; but, we’re still here. If there’s any good we can do, let it be now. Keep the music going!
It was my mother who passed on her love of music to me. She showed me that the magic of great music came from the heart. I learned that a terrific song has everything in balance: the tune, the words, and most importantly, a singer – capable of interpreting it for others.
When, at the funeral home, I reached out to say goodbye, I noticed the watch he was wearing was right on time. I don’t know what that means in a timeless world, but he was more interested in who you were… in the here and now.
His outrage was explosive! Publicly chastised, his eyes glared with resentment. And, there I stood – guilty of poking the eye of the tiger with a (judgement) stick.
The world around us looks like the real world, but it’s full of illusions and myths – such as Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. For example, the myth that buying things will lead to happier lives.
As I drove on, pressed against time, I was already preparing my defense. In my head, I saw myself in a TV courtroom pleading my own case like a seasoned lawyer, “Members of the jury, here stands an innocent man!” It didn’t work.
Finally, “just do it”; but, don’t expect a reward, recognition or even a “thank you”. It’s a funny thing about human nature in resenting help: perceived charity is hard to swallow. Sometimes you stand alone – it’s okay.
Thanking me, she picked up her valuables and left – leaving me with the feeling that I was the one out of touch.
As the late cultural chef, Anthony Bourdain, advised, “Don’t be afraid of random acts of hospitality… be open, without judgement or fear. Walk in their shoes, or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”