WRITE010 Finding Hope Out of the Most Unlikely Places

Posted on : 08-12-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Humor, Mind Fodder

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A couple of days ago I was driving down the highway in a rush to get by Starbuck’s before my next meeting across town and an El Camino up ahead caught my eye not so much because I hadn’t seen one in at least a handful of years but rather because it was in pretty much mint condition.  And then I noticed the driver, he had long grey hair pulled back in a ponytail and a mustache under his nose.  I noticed that up on his reviewer mirror hung a handicapped tag.  I’m not quite sure if I fantasized that he resembled Sam Elliott’s “The Stranger” from the Big Lebowski or if he actually did have the countenance of him, so for the sake of this blog we’ll pretend that he was.

The main point of this whole memory is that of all the things at 3pm on a consistently sunny day that could make me feel hopeful, this aging baby boomer with his gray pony tail and El Camino did just that.  The hope swam up at me out of a swarm of realizing that in a world of 7 billion people, and 311,591,917 of those people living in the good ole USA, seems like most people have become the cookie cutter image of the cookie cutter box stores with very little unique qualities evident to the outside world.  Of course, you and I both know that we’re all unique; however, many of us have just gotten really good at hiding ourselves under the shell of sameness like a million tiny crabs scuttling along the beach.

Oh sure, you could argue that this pony-tailed boomer also came out of a generation of many of us following the same trip, but jimminy when you consider all the changes that we boomers have undergone and endured since the high-flying times of the 60’s and 70’s, well, those of us that have held on to our threads and ways give me heart.  I think it’s because of what I’ve experienced that goes with all of that.  The awareness and consciousness of the people and the world around them/us as well as the curiosity to still ask questions.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now that although there are some differences between the aging hippies today and the 20-somethings, they all speak the same language.  If ever there was a time in history when we needed inter-generational communication and connection, it is now. And if ever there was a time when this was possible, it is now.   The old can help the young and the young can help the old.  And I suspect that they would find each other very interesting.    I’m an interviewer in the core of my being, so I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many people from both of these generations and so there’s some meat behind my words. There’s substance in them thar hills of wishful thinking.

So next time you just happen to glance over and see someone who is an aging flower child remember, “The Dude Abides”….

Blog #75 The Dude Abides

Posted on : 05-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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There’s this really nice guy named Ted who frequents some of the same gatherings that I do who consistently wears t-shirts that cause me to smile. Ted is an unsuspecting t-shirt wearer because he’s a professional man who looks like he could be a model. A model that doesn’t wear t-shirts, but does anyway probably just to shake his image. This past weekend Ted walked into the room sporting a t-shirt with a graphic of Jesus holding his arms wide open and the caption said, “wasssup!!”.

What came to mind was “the Dude abides”.

Probably only Big Lewboski (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118715/) fans will agree to the reference here but suffice it to say that the Christ consciousness of my understanding, would appreciate (and perhaps even welcome the connection to) Ted’s T-shirt.

This all made me reflect once again on just how untouchable we humans can make some of the focus of our beliefs and faith by how we package them up and put them out there for the rest of the world to enjoy/understand/ignore (fill in what feels right to you here).

One of my favorite tales that I learned long ago is the one about the meatloaf that has been being made for ages in this one family. Well every time the meat loaf is made, whomever is preparing it will cut off the edges before placing it on a serving plate. As it happened, one holiday gathering three or maybe four generations of this family were in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the meal. One of the youngest members of the tribe watched with interest (and a little humor) as her mom cut the edges off the meatloaf before placing it onto the plate which prompted her to ask why her mom cut off the edges. Before the mom could reply, the great grandmother looked up from cutting her lemon wedges and wiped a piece of hair that had fallen in her eyes with her arm and laughed as she told her great granddaughter that she had done that for years because the pan they used to cook the meatloaf in was too small to hold what the recipe called for and as they could not afford to purchase a new pan, they simply cut off the edges. The grandmother then looked up surprised because she had never thought to ask why they cut off the edges, she’d always just simply done what her mom had done. Likewise her daughter (the mother of the little girl).

I tell you this tale because although some cultures are better at telling stories and passing them down to be learned from and used by the future generations, its part of the human condition for us to pass around stories to each other about what we learn. I think that there is a good chance that some of the oldest stories we’ve been passing around and fighting over for centuries may have some tangents of the “meat loaf” syndrome in their midst without us being the wiser.

There are more than a few people who have commented on my very interesting and mixed cosmology of beliefs and today I welcome this mix because somehow the message of the Beatitudes that can be found in the New Testament coupled with my understanding of the underlying message of love and acceptance mixed in with a favorite Coen Brother’s movie spits out of my mind when I see a shirt like Ted’s to nod my head and say with a smile,

“The Dude abides man, the dude abides”.