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Enough is Enough and Too Much is Plenty
At some time in my encroaching dotage, I have this mini-epiphany.
I call this mini-epiphany The Time of Unleashing. That’s when I begin tossing aside the things I can in no way control or affect or steer, the things that waste my time and energy.
On a good day, this unleashing frees me to focus on the really important moments of life. I look around at the obvious, observe the things that are so present they become invisible if attention is not paid.
This is a good moment. I’m at the museum restaurant having a most pleasurable brunch and conversation with my wife. I am taking in Liz and everything surrounding us.
What I see comprises my entire world at this one moment.
At a nearby table, an elderly wheelchaired diner hovers over his plate and slowly arranges his food, all the while suppressing the coughing spell that sets his eyeglasses askew. He is focused on getting edibles from fork to mouth, all on his own. His caretaker sits patiently across from him, vacuously or stoically or resignedly or disdainfully—it’s hard to tell which.
I head for the drink table and scan the selections. A large man ahead of me is sampling the drinks to decide which is right for him. I say, “Is the iced tea any good?” He grumps, “Not sweet enough,” and heads for the lemony water.
Back at the table with Liz, I watch the elderly wheelchaired diner carefully transfer, one at a time, several ice cubes from a half-full glass to a nearly-full glass. I know what he’s doing—we southerners like our cold drinks filled with ice before fluid is added. Out-of-region servers don’t know this.
Musicians a few feet away are playing an old jazz piece called “Killer Joe,” then transition into tunes by Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. I just can’t wipe the smile off my face, since these are the songs I played on the air some fifty-plus years ago when working as a radio DJ. The memory is vivid and visceral, adding extra spice and sweetness to the meal.
We chat with our cheerful server and are pleased to find that she loves her job. I have a special regard for job-lovers, since they seem rare and scattered. Later, in the museum gift shop, we have long and energetic conversations with the volunteers who run the place. They, too, have that enthusiasm we love to see in craftspeople and artists.
As we meander through the galleries, having broken our fast and paid the tab, we talk about anything and everything, with no agenda beyond enjoying the moment and each other and ourselves.
I am living within my epiphany and focusing all my energy away from the challenges, problems, terrors and accidents that the outer banks of my life will pour upon me when my guard is down.
Right now, this minute, is life. It is quite enough
© Jim Reed 2016 A.D.