How Do You See It?
Happy New Year! Well, its been quite some time since we last talked. Thank you for all of the kind notes, calls and text messages asking me where the next blog was. The answer reminds me of a story about Louis Armstrong. As everybody knows, Armstrong is probably THE most important jazz figure of all time—both as a trumpet/coronet player and as a singer. For years people lined up to see his performances and waited with bated breath for his signature solos, and to see if he could make his horn hit the high A note. (I am told this is a very difficult thing to do) Of course, Armstrong hit the note flawlessly and repeatedly night after night. Once, a reporter asked him if he ever had any doubt he could hit such a note again and again. Armstrong smiled, pointed to his pocket and replied, “that note was right here all the time”.
And so it is with this post. It was here all the time. Just took a little break. If you are familiar with this blog, then you already know why. Time is an illusion and doesn’t really mean anything. Whether we connect in the immediate moment or over some extended length of time, neither the content nor the intent changes. That’s the beauty of connection, its timeless. So, hello my friend. Thank you for checking in again.
But…there is what we call reality, and everything that comes with it. Lets just say I am very happy the holidays are over. Its not that I’m a scrooge or anything, but even LTD eventually decided enough was enough. (Lets see who gets that reference) The 12 days of Christmas brought me two things—a houseful of relatives and Williams. Let me explain.
The relatives were mostly in-laws—naw–ALL in-laws. Now, I may run the risk of of running afoul of my wife by discussing my in-laws, but some things just have to be said. My in-laws (including sisters and brothers in-law—and their children) are special. And they stay. I love em and I enjoy em. But, they stay, for a long time. They stay so much, so well, and so long, their family business should be in extended assignment sniper training for the military. These people can wait out Godot. I was feeling anxious. I told myself, you can’t choose what the world is, but you can choose how you see it. It wasn’t working.
Then, there is the matter of the Williams that came as a result of the holidays. I’m not talking about relatives from my side of the family. When I use the term Williams, I mean bills that are so large I use the proper name, William, as opposed the nickname Bill. Williams is the plural form of William, and brother, I got Williams. I told myself, you can’t choose what the world is, but you can choose how you see it. It wasn’t working.
Now its back to real life, or what we think that is. The toys are now broken and forgotten, the decorations are down, and the gym membership is finally getting a workout. All is back to what seems to be normal. With a little difficulty, everyone seems to be back in routine–wishing the week away to get to the weekend, and wishing the winter away to get to spring. No more winter wonderland, lights, eggnog, or Christmas songs. Its just cold. I told myself…well, you get it by now. And it wasn’t working.
Winter in Chicago is quite indescribable. The best I can do is to say its like locking yourself in a freezer, except that the freezer is warmer than the outside temperature. I walked today from the parking garage to my office, cursing and freezing all the way. I had to look crazy to other people as I muttered to myself. I didn’t care. I had a very bad mood to be in, and I kept that appointment. I didn’t even try to tell myself anything. I just stewed.
On the drive home I started laughing at myself. I laughed because I was in a sour mood because I wanted to be. It wasn’t because the holidays were over, the Williams, the in-laws or the cold Chicago winter. It was because that’s what I chose. I chose to identify with being a helpless victim affected by outside forces and people. After I thought about it, I decided to choose to look inside, not outside. I decided to try and identify with my true nature, that of spirit. That true nature can’t be assailed or affected by anything—even a Chicago winter. I told myself, you can’t choose what the world is, but you can choose how you see it. It didn’t work right away. But, eventually it did. I enjoyed the rest of the drive home. I even listened to LTD.
Choosing to look at the world in a different way doesn’t work for me all the time. Mainly, because there are times I’m just determined to be miserable. But, I tire of that—sometimes quickly, sometimes not so much. And when I really think about it, making the choice works. Even the smallest thing in the world is all about how you see it. How do you see it?
Until next time.