Friday, October 10, 2008

Out Beyond the Noise is Music

Have you lost your job? Can't pay the mortgage? Is life getting you down? How about the war, global warming, melting icecaps, and the economy? Kano has something to say about that in this "Zen-like" post:

I arrived home from work feeling refreshed after riding my motorcycle through the foggy brisk air of a fine autumn morning. I work at night and sleep during the day, a mockery of everything my body says is normal.

But in any case I was feeling good, and then I walked through the door of my house.

Waiting for me at the table was yesterday's mail, a pile of bills. After living off of credit cards for all too long, the proverbial chickens had come home to roost. I pushed the stack aside in no mood to look. Sipping on a steaming cup of tea I contemplated the recent news from my boss that no more overtime will be available at work. I had been depending on the extra hours to help make ends meet.

Wandering into the other room I listened for a moment to the TV with its news of the global economic collapse and government bailouts at the taxpayer's expense. Then they played a clip of the CEO of the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers. He was bullshitting his way through congressional questions on why he made millions while his corporation was going down in flames and why he gave out millions in perks to his top executives after asking the government for help.

With a click of the TV remote the noise was gone and I returned to my tea at the table. Then my wife joined me with more financial news; my son needs braces and wants a cell phone because he says "all the other kids have one". My daughters need money for picture day at school and one of them needs a Doctor's appointment. I'm also informed that the car is nearly out of gas and we need to pick up a gift for a birthday party...It just doesn't seem to get any easier saying no to the ones you love.

As I listened to my wife her voice became distant as my attention and gaze moved from her eyes and out the window, eventually focusing on the shed outside which housed my motorcycle. In 45 days or less that shed would be sitting empty and anxiously awaiting a new occupant. In the mean time I'm fine with the prospect of living without a bike. I'm past the stages of anger, denial, and so forth and am at the stage of acceptance. After all a motorcycle is just a thing and things aren't all that important.

While it would be easy to blame my financial woes on Clinton and his NAFTA or the Bush administration and it's de-regulated "trickle down economics", the price of food and fuel, the lack of health insurance because of sky high premiums, or the greedy mega-millionaire CEO's of giant multi-national nauseum. No, I won't go there. There's plenty of legitimate blame to go around but that would be of no use to me. I must take personal responsibility for my own situation in order to move past it.

I've come to understand that no matter how bad things seem, they still are not as bad as millions of others have endured in the past, are now enduring and will endure in the future. Keeping things in perspective. I've actually got it pretty good right now...I've got a loving family, a job, my health and a place to live. Beyond the noise of all that is going wrong in this world... is the quieter and sublime voice of all that's right in this world. The voice of God.

Standing in the open doorway I shut out the noise and listened to the sounds of my children's laughter as they played with a ball outside. Listening more attentively now, more sounds came into my awareness; the clanging of a clean pan being put away in the cupboard, the sweet voice of my wife calling out "breakfast is ready", the Canada geese in the sky above migrating south for the winter, and the wind blowing through the trees. Those were the sounds transcending the noise of the irrelevant and brought my attention to the right and perfect moment, which was that very moment. And with each and every tick of the clock, the universe is created anew, wonderful possibilities are born, new hope, and new beginnings emerge...Out beyond the noise, is music. One only has to listen...

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bobskoot said...

I don't know what to say except that we are all caught up in the circumstances of the economic/financial turmoil. We have to make the best of what we are given. Even up here in Vancouver BC, yes, the effects can be felt. It may take years for our retirement funds (401's) to come back to previous levels. For some reason all the banks in the world are experiencing the same problem. What has happened to common sense in the borrowing industry ? There is so much doom and gloom written everywhere, but it is similar to riding a bike, point your eyes in that direction and that's where you will end up

Mr. Motorcycle said...

It sounds to me like you have your head screwed on right. You've got your priorities straight. You value the sound of your wife's voice, and the sound of your children's laughter. Your family comes first.

Even with the prospect of loosing the motorcycle, (which I shutter at) is still good. The economy is rough, but we will persevere. You will persevere.

Canajun said...

"Out beyond the noise, is music. One only has to listen..."

Beautifully written.

Good luck.

Baron's Life said...

The skies will always clear after the rain and the sun will once again shine.
Hang in there've got your priorities right. These are not easy times and we're all going through the same thing to some extent or other.

R.G. said...

It may surprise you to hear me say this since you know I am a conservative but the amount of greed and corruption that permeates our government[both sides] and business community disgusts me. It is not what capitalism is meant to be and it has left the majority of us at the mercy of titans run amok. Hang tough Kano

Conchscooter said...

I enjoy the sound of my wife's voice real well even on days when I'm not snowed under by obligations. This enormous fiasco that is swallowing all of us bystanders up makes me real mad.Call me short sighted but this is a glass of lemonade that is going to hurt a lot more innocent people, and I wouldn't mind one bit enjoying a small portion of good old fashioned revenge and seeing the CEOs parted from their ill gotten gains.
Having to sell the motorcycle sucks.

Kano said...

bobskoot -Right you are. I feel for those people who have IRA's and 401Ks and are close to retiring. Those who have years to go hopefully will recover their loses, others, not so lucky.

mr. motorcycle -Thanks for the encouraging words!

canajun -Thanks Man. Shakespeare I'm not but maybe after a few more posts...

baron's life -Thank you for the encouragement. Yep, we are all feeling the pain to one degree or another. I can't help but think a new kind of economy will emerge out of the ruins of the old one.

r.g. -Thanks and I agree. Greed and corruption have permeated our society and unfortunatly once that kind of thinking takes hold it's darn near impossible to put a reign on it.

conchscooter -I agree, some of those top corporate executives and CEO's should spend some time "cooling their heels" in the clink! Those guys did far more damage to our society than small time crooks who are in jail.

Lance said...

Kano, very nice post despite the circumstances. You have the right priorities, and we look forward to the time when you are back in the saddle!

Kano said...

lance -Thank you. I'm still riding my motorcycle until Dec. 1 unless I sell it sooner. Hopefully after that it won't be too long before I'm back in the saddle!