Rest is so important. I know this now that I have experienced at full capacity about as much as any human could pack into a 3 day weekend. That was two weeks ago, when I went to Canada. Oh maybe I didn’t mention that – I went to Quebec City for 3 days. It was overwhelming.
Rest doesn’t refer to getting enough sleep. It means being in one place long enough to stop and slow down and let your life catch its breath. This is what I need, because it keeps me sane. I found it this week at Jimmie’s farmhouse in Goochland.
Alan Miller and I drove down to the farm listening to Jimmy Eat World’s new cd, which is very good. We had a nice drive, and at occasional points knew that the songs we were listening to were written at that moment for us. We watched the leaves being kicked up behind the car in front of us, and then we spent the evening looking at the moon and stars through a telescope – then watching Sylvester Stalone in Cliffhanger. Good movie.
The next morning Jimmie and I had a idyllic game of hitting moonballs to each other in the large field outside of his house. After that, I took a shower and felt little need to dry off before I went back outside, joined the group, hoisted a shotgun and shot my first clay pigeon out of the sky. Tired of this, I read “The Dangerous Book For Boys” on Jimmie’s porch until more brothers arrived. We took a long walk through the farm and shot things with shotguns as we went. The afternoon was perfect. We walked along the train tracks without shirts on, and I tried to catch a small garter snake. We visited the river, which is only three feet deep at the moment. We met his grandparents and kicked around the farm for a while. I got to revist the same horse, “Blue,” who nearly bit my toe off three years ago. We patched things up. I scared up some partridges in their coop, then left the animals behind. We met Mrs. Massie and she told me my cell phone had been found in North Carolina. Hooray. Later I took Dante on in a one-on-one soccer match. Exercise is great mental health. We cooked burgers and brats as usual, then watched teh UVA football game. This was testosterone city, since nearly 20 of us were packed into a living room staring at a tiny screen. When UVA came back to score in the last minute of the game, we nearly ripped our shirts in passion. We bounded around the house singing the good old song. We passed the gavel around the camp fire, and after everyone had shared their thoughts, heart to heart, the spirit of brotherhood found its way back down from the heavens and surrounded us. All of us knew what we had in each other was priceless, and that being together as brothers truly is better than alcohol. We linked arms and sang (not kidding) as we turned our heads towards the sky to watch God fling shooting stars through our atmosphere. All of this, just for us.
Today I talked to my Dad about transcendence in our backyard and spent some time with their new cat. Later, I was slated to sing and speak at a Camp Fund Raiser. I had to rely on God alone to get me through playing music and sharing a testimony in front of 100 people. I tried an experiment today: not really planning what I was going to say. I sat there in the moment and after my introduction, I just knew what I had to say. It went well. But at the same time, I totally needed God. Without him, I would not have been able to make it through this evening. Why? Because in the middle of the dinner, right as I was about to go on stage, I received some very unsettling news from a friend of mine that brought a major fear of mine to real life.
Just remember: if people are ever jerks to you, try to remember that you were once a jerk to someone else first.
Well, here’s to living in the moment
‘Cause it passed, it passed.
I’m still carrying a little hope that
Maybe things could get different now
Is that so wrong, is that so wrong, is that so wrong?”
Yes, it is so wrong.