March 26th: Ode to Joy


“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

~ Henry Miller

So I don’t know what got me on Friday. The incessant rain, the incontinent dog, the empty nest, Caroline leaving, the work load, the Trump regime…

Well, I’m over it.

When we spend too much time worrying, we become mental and we need to get out and do something mindless.

Like mow the lawn. Correction: mow the weeds. Last year we had a drought, so everyone has been browning their lawns, but with the rains, the lawns (front and back) had turned into weed patches. No, no tireless cars yet, sitting on cinder blocks, no bars on the windows, but definitely a shabby look, especially for a town like Orinda where people play golf and drive Maseratis and Teslas.

It was heavy going (the mowing) and I have giant blisters on my hands to prove it, but Teddy is so happy because he can finally roam his kingdom again, as the mini tropical rain forest has now turned into more manageable meadow. I mean, look at these guys, my old men at Nursing Home Wiener:

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Jon and I had a quiet dinner, missing Caroline and her friend, but the brownie, after dinner made up for a lot. OMG.

This morning Jon got up at 5 AM to go skiing and I’ve been puttering around the house, repotting my lemon and lime bushes, and seeing friends. With one of my friends I talked about the empty nest, and how this change makes me question the meaning of life, or rather: makes me wonder how we can find new meaning in life, or make life more meaningful again. We also talked about how life can be rather joyless, and how we have to try harder, in this stage of our lives, to strive for joy, engage with pursuits that give us more joy and make sure we don’t miss out on joy when we can have it. Our lives are more fragmented, frazzled, and fast than ever, and it’s hard to stop this freight train, walk away from it and say… today I’m going to do something completely hedonistic, or crazy, or fun.

Inspired by that I went for a ride through Tilden Park and as I turned the corner by the Brazil building, I came upon pure joy. I mean… look at this:

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I stopped to make a picture.

The bored millenial who was sitting underneath this explosion of cherry blossom was looking at his phone and glanced up momentarily with a look in his eyes as to why I was taking a picture. He didn’t get it at all. Or rather, he didn’t see the beauty and joy I was feeling.

On my ride back I thought again of the conversation I had had with my friend.

Fuck the meaning of life. Life is meaningless and always will be. We’re suckers for trying to find meaning and it’s a waste of time.

Joy is where it’s at.

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