Sunday, October 26, 2008

Whine & Cheese

It's been far too easy to complain as of late. The state of the whole physical world seems to have turned upside down. Financial panic, our country in two wars, instability in the workplace, a seemingly never-ending monotony of bad news in the paper, online, on the radio, on television, etc. And so there's been stress. It shows in my face in the worry about company politics. It shows in the formation of gray hairs. I feel it in my very guts.

But then as quickly as it comes (weeks in the making), it fades just as fast. Just 24 hours ago I was on the verge of going stir crazy. I'd looked to all my hobbies to alleviate the frustration but as soon as I finished one task the moment of calm would usher in an unforeseen neuro-overload.

Cut to last night. Halloween 2008 at my neighbor's house. A time to be someone else. "Hello," the man formerly known as me said, "I'm Caesar Salad." The smiles came freely and the social conversation was finally something other than stocks and bonds and bears, oh my. And just like that (with the help of some sangria and a few tequila shots) the world melted away for a time. I awoke refreshed this morning, if not a bit hung-over. I felt like a weight had been lifted. We shopped for groceries, prepared a menu for the week, cooked a delicious dinner, went for a lovely walk and watched a film from Netflix. What's not to like?

And so another week begins. It's so critical to be able to take a step back (or out) from what we perceive to be reality and look at what is truly (physically, spiritually, philosophically?) essential. I see an absolutely beautiful life. So tonight I toast to just that. To having wine with my cheese, instead of whine with my cheese.


jamie said...

well said. i've been feeling the creep of existential malaise the past few months as well and need to do the whole "step back and enjoy" thing for a little while. a nice agenda-less weekend would probably be a good start.

Anonymous said...


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling