Friday, December 5, 2008

Maybe if You Just Open Yourself Up

I will never forget the day. It was a late summer Sunday afternoon in Boulder as I hurriedly pulled into the Whole Foods parking lot. At the time it was a relatively small lot which was shared with a Barnes & Noble and a six-screen movie theater. Finding decent parking was always a challenge and given the peak shopping hour, I understood that finding the mack-daddy space was unrealistic.

As I scouted the dregs of the far ends of the lot I observed white backup lights as a vehicle began to evacuate its space. I immediately took the on-deck position to fill the space and exclaimed my objective to do so with my left-hand turn signal. As the exiting car backed out in front of me, it unintentionally created an avenue for another approaching car to come in and take my targeted space.

I looked on is disbelief as late 80’s, faded-paint model Honda adorned with a Free Tibet bumper sticker snaked into the space. And then she, I will refer to her as Windsong, emerged from her vehicle completely oblivious of her actions. Windsong was the poster child for the early 20’s, Boulder-hippie wannabe. She wore torn jeans with an equally torn tee-shirt. Birkenstocks were her shoe of choice and dreadlocks garlanded her air-filled head. I immediately rolled down my window and addressed her. “Excuse me,” I said in a perturbed voice, “but I was waiting for that space.” And then, she spoke the words that have left a lasting impression on me to this day: “If you just open yourself up, maybe something will come to you.”

I realized at this point that rational argument was fruitless. I shook my head and crept forward towards the front of the lot as I gazed once more at Windsong who was making her way to the store. The smell of patchouli oil permeated the walls of my car as I drove past her. And then, a miracle happened. As I moved forward, I saw a space available right in front row near the entrance. Not to be denied, I hurried forward and pulled into the space. A brief smile fell upon my face. As I got out of my car, Windsong was just meandering by. She caught my eye, smiled at me and said in her hippie twang, “See, I told you.”

In my own life there have been great thinkers that have helped to influence how I have framed the reality around me. Immediately I recall the likes of Maimonides, Socrates and Mr. Miyagi just to name a few. I can say with conviction that these brilliant minds truly inspire me. Actually they only inspire me temporarily until I forgot the wisdom they imparted. OK, the reality is they actually make me feel stupid because I am not bright enough to understand them (this however, does not preclude me from garnishing my bookshelves with their works to impress others but I digress). My encounter with Windsong however, went beyond philosophy. It was a tangible demonstration of a belief system that played out right before my very eyes.

I am reminded by the confusion that exists in our lives on a daily basis. This reminder usually occurs when I take our dog out to go potty at night. As I watch her sniff every square inch of our lawn and repeatedly pace back and forth examining and reexamining the potential spots for her eventual urination, I consider my own life’s search for meaning. While my dog rarely heeds my advice to open herself up, like my dog I search and search but the answer is in front of me the whole time. Until I open myself up, I cannot find the meaning in my life, and more importantly, the best parking spaces. So how will I know when I have learned to live my life with this openness? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the Windsong.

More on this to come…


fionula's revenge said...

my dog wears clothes and lives opened up. bitch.

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