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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tweaking Lyrics

Some thirty years ago, Stephen Stills sang: “If you can’t be with the one you love…love the one you’re with.”

Time has a way of changing one’s perspective. While I was apt to agree with Mr. Stills three decades ago (and, on occasion, followed his advice), the lyric no longer holds much appeal. Today I’m inclined to sing: “If you can’t be with the one you love…love the life you live.”

She raised the bar high, Amazing Woman did. I was in my 50’s before I met the woman with the unique attributes of heart, mind and soul that led me to forsake all others. Fifty years is a lot of living. I wouldn’t even venture a guess as to how many women I’ve met over that span. Thousands, certainly. She raised the bar high, indeed.

Just how adroit IS Cupid, anyway? One extraordinary arrow in 50 years. What are the odds that a second such arrow would find its mark any time soon? Slim chance, I’d say.

I don’t have another 50 years. In fact, I don’t have much time left at all. The hourglass is draining towards empty. I can’t afford to waste the years allotted me (at least, I hope there are still years left to me). So, if I can’t be with the one I love…I’ll simply love the life I live.

I’ve resolved to live my dreams. While I’ll always hold that true love and intimacy are the most precious blessings that life can offer, living one’s dreams comes a close second. I don’t regret the fact that I’ve pursued love as life’s highest calling (sacrificing a great many dreams in the process). At least I know I tried. By trying, I’ve learned what I want and need. Never mind that the pursuit has left me broken and somewhat embittered. I tried. I’ll continue trying but, again, what are the odds that I’ll find true love someday? Not good.

It’s time to chase dreams.

* * *

Living one’s dreams is truly a rare happenstance. The vast majority of humanity simply struggles to survive, to somehow eke out a living. I am decidedly privileged to even have the opportunity. I am humbled by my good fortune. It is, without a doubt, a matter of pure luck to be born into privileged circumstance, to be favored by Fortune, to have the freedom and means to chase dreams. It would be hubris to think otherwise. I mean to make the best of it.

In my previous entry, I sketched out the dreams I intend to pursue. It’s a short list, but the chase will certainly consume my remaining days. I intend to die a dreamer. That shall be enough for me.

Who knows, perhaps somewhere along the way I’ll meet a dreamer dreaming the same dreams? My life would then be complete.

Cupid, are you listening?

* * *

Here’s a bit of serendipity for you: Shortly after I posted my last entry, I began reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Last night, I read “Lieutenant Mamiya’s” account of his harrowing experience in Outer Mongolia. Interwoven within that horrific account were observations regarding the character of Mongolia itself. It felt most extraordinary to find another’s words (and from a man living on the other side of the world, at that) that explain my need to go there myself and gaze upon that unique world with my own eyes. A touch of serendipity at 4 AM…it filled me with wonder and delight.

* * *

I should, perhaps, add a postscript here. I listed dying in Venice as one of my intentions…the final dream, if you will. That’s not exactly correct. Dying in Venice would be more aptly described as “making the best of it.” I’ll save the explanation for another day.

* * *

And, now, for a complete non-sequitor: I love the aroma of curry cooking.


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