May 19, 2014

My Sunday Sermon from Tim Minchin on the Meaninglessness of Life

I love my neighbors and my neighborhood. Sunday offered another example "why."
  • It was a beautiful day -- too cool to eat breakfast on the back porch, but it warmed up nicely by midday. 
  • My weekly visit to our local farmers market. Fresh strawberries and asparagus!
  • Lunch on the back porch with the NY Times and Washington Post. Then a nap and my 15-minute meditation tape.
  • An afternoon gathering of our always-interesting neighbors at a house right up the street. The 1968 riots that followed MLK Jr's assassination caused a flight to the suburbs, and I was pretty sure I'd end up living with a bunch of old fogeys like me. No way. We now have more young couples and children than ever. 
  • Even though I've lived in the neighborhood longer than anyone else at the gathering, I knew only half the guests. Most of the others were well acquainted because they meet while walking their dogs.
I had a great time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I later realized I'd been standing for nearly two hours (which I rarely do) and hadn't taken my Parkinson's pill on time. Though energized by the company and conversation, I dragged my self home, an easy walk of half a block. I was wiped out and wondered how I'd produce a quick, easy blog post for tonight. I drew a blank.

I opened my email and found the weekly Caring Bridge post from Mark. A neighbor and friend, he reports each week about his son who -- as a Harvard freshman -- was stricken with a rare autoimmune disorder that led to devastating encephalitis. Vadim has been in the hospital since March 26, 2013.

I look forward to Mark's posts and find them uplifting, not depressing. They're filled with insights and links to interesting websites, which brings us to my post for today. With the season of commencement speeches upon us, Mark wrote:
In the spirit of the season, a friend who has sat with Vadim many times brought to our attention this punchy 2013 college address by Australian comedian Tim Minchin, who lets it all hang out with glee.
Bingo! I found my blog post for today:


Here's a bonus. Mark mentioned that his son had introduced the family to Sixto Rodriquez, a singer who'd been a flop in Detroit during the early 70s before becoming wildly popular in South Africa. His work was new to me. Once again, Mark and Vadim led me to a new discovery.

Thank you, Vadim. Hurry home.

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