June 22nd, 2008
I get up every day, and most days I finish a few of things I had hoped to accomplish then get some rest so I can go at it again tomorrow. Every once in a while, though, I pass a milestone that reminds me that this is all headed somewhere - something ends, something begins, and I'm brought face-to-face the real reason I get up every day. Of all my roles, this sense of progress is most dramatic when I am a father. This weekend I was blessed with two of those moments in as many days.
On Friday, Andrew offhandedly brought up nihilism and Nietzsche. It came out of the blue, but I was ready for him. I chose long ago to model spiritual values for my children, but not to lecture them with the unearned authority of a parent about the bigger questions of the what and why of existence. It looks like Andrew is ready, and I talked to him about the nihilistic stage that any good existentialist has to work through before they are ready to look the tao in the eye. I began to describe my aesthetic approach to the universe (good=beauty=truth), and it seemed to give him something to chew on. It was a great conversation, and I have high hopes for Andrew that he will give this some thought and come up with the beginnings of a strong personal metaphysics.
Last night we had a couple of musician friends, Dave and Tom, over as part of our stock club meeting. David, who has had a rotating group of musicians over to jam and record ever since he got home for the summer, was playing in the basement with his friend Austin. As we wound up the business part of the meeting (and one of Emily's fabulous dinners,) the musicians in the club went downstairs and started jamming with David and Austin. I joined them for a while on drums, though all I could really come up with was a couple of Nick Mason fills, so everything ended up sounding like "Breathe." Austin played along for a while, and then packed up his guitar to leave.
My friends and I felt a bit self-conscious, like we were the old farts who crashed David's party and made Austin uncomfortable. David came up a few minutes later, told me he was going to get Ryan, his drummer and asked if we were going to be around for a while. I told them we probably would be, but we wouldn't interfere with his music any more. David responded (in his usual low-key manner) that he wanted to us to join him again once he and Ryan got back.
They showed up about half an hour later, and we sat in the basement and played music for a couple of hours. Well, they played - I sat in for a couple of minutes, then got my camera to document the moment while Emily danced. It was a magical moment - everyone felt affirmed, David took a step into adulthood, and the old men didn't feel so old for a few moments. Life can be so good sometimes...