The image today is another one from the new FDR Four Freedoms Park. It reminds me of how we each have our own peculiar way of seeing the world. The four slits in concrete offer different perspectives of the New York skyline. While I watched these two couples hang together, walking, talking, and laughing, there was this moment where they each put an eye up to the crack and their relations subsided, if just for a few seconds. They each became absorbed in the moment, seeing the amazing skyline in their own way.
One of the challenges today is cultivating the art of seeing. We have become so absorbed in our day to day affairs, that taking time to just be, see, and experience the moment in complete fullness is rare. Not long ago I blogged about the experiment with Joshua Bell in Washington DC, and how even when one of the greatest violinist is playing right in front of us we may miss it. This image reminds me to slow down, and pay attention to what is right in front of me.
A BLAST FROM THE PAST
The other night Kelly and I went to a reunion concert of the Dan Reed Network, a 1980s rock-funk band that became popular in Portland. The lead singer, Dan Reed, is an amazing talent that enjoyed his early success a bit too much, eventually succumbing to the darker side of life. But at some point, as he has said in solo performances, he woke up to the need to grow up. He shaved his long rocker hair, traveled the world, and discovered a deeper, spiritual connection to his music. While now a very accomplished solo artist, there is a large fan base, myself included, which will always love his musical roots in rock. So hearing Dan with all the original band members some twenty years later, playing all the Network’s hits was a real treat!
And while I loved the show, two things struck me as interesting. Instead of many wearing earplugs to keep the loud rock music from damaging hearing, many wore hearing aids! Yes, we have all grown a few years older, but still long for moments when a concert can bring us back to our youth.
The second thing is that Dan is a very different person now than he was in the 80’s. I have heard him play his solo material numerous times and the lyrics are far deeper, his emotion in the performances more nuanced, and his presence more relaxed and joyful. So even though for a guy in his 50’s his athletic prowess on stage is impressive, there was a bit of a disconnect for me. I don’t know about the other band members, but even though Dan can still rock a great show, I now realize that I prefer the more evolved, spiritual Dan. He has grown up and through his music, given me a cherished gift. He has reminded me of how far I too have come in life. Thanks Dan, and keep playing with the Network from time to time, because it’s good to be reminded of where we came from.