Monday, November 27, 2006

It's a bit late to talk about Thanksgiving at this point but I did want to share a few things about Thanksgiving week. I spent the first part of the week of Thanksgiving camping in the Big Sur and Santa Cruz areas. I had the whole week off and the weather was unusually warm for this time of year so I decided to go camping before I headed over to San Jose to spend Thanksgiving day with my mom and aunt. The camping part of my trip was great because I had the campgrounds pretty much to myself. It was very peaceful and quiet which was great as I spent some quality time reflecting and meditating on the past year. Each year since 2001 I spend some time prior to Thanksgiving day reflecting and journaling the past years events that I am thankful for and here are a few of things I wrote in my journal this year.

1. A greater sense of self awareness regarding my short and long term goals...and...a greater self awareness about the areas in my life that need attention and devotion of my time and energy.Self awareness is not an end into itself but it is difficult to pursue one's needs, passions, and desires without some self awareness.

2. The relationship with my two sons. I am very proud and grateful I have been able to maintain a strong and growing relationship with my two sons since my divorce over four years ago. It is not easy to keep close to one's children when one does not live with them but I am very grateful that we have what I believe to be a good and growing relationship.

3. I am grateful for my health. I am more physically fit at this time in my life than I have been for over ten years. I am eating better and exercising at least four days a week now. Not bad for someone pushing 50 and has sustained some of the bike and car accidents I have over the years.

4. Emotional stability. I feel like I am at a better place emotionally than I have been for a number of years. Emotionally stability is a fickle thing since we do not have control over many of the variables in our lives but I feel I have grown stronger in a number of areas over the years and feel more confident to pursue some things I was not able to in years past.

5. Am grateful for where I am in life. Being divorced, single, and pushing 50 is not easy at times but I feel content where I am in life and do not envy my friends or the more "normal" living circumstances of others. It has not been easy to get to this place where I am at but I do not regret the twists and turns my life has taken over the years.

There are many other things that I am grateful for this past year but they are more personal in nature and thus I'll leave it with these five things....During my week off I also got in some great hiking and mountain bike riding. I visited a new California State park on this trip and had a great ride through a beautiful Redwood forest near Santa Cruz. There aren't too many places I haven't been to in California but I was pleasantly surprised by the discovery of a new place I can now go riding and hiking.....Not much to report about Thanksgiving day. Spent a quiet meal with my mom and aunt.I don't get too many home cooked meals these days so I am always grateful for a hot meal with all the fixens. The meal was great and I took my mom for a walk around the block before we sat down to eat some Turkey. My mom is amazing. She is almost 92 and still is motivated to walk around the block once a week... I left the next morning and came back to Bakersfield where I spent Saturday putting up my Christmas decorations before I watched the USC Trojans stomp the Irish of Notre Dame and move one step closer to their fourth consecutive National Championship game. It was sweet....Yesterday I went to see the movie The Fountain after being intrigued by the comments of my friend Dave who saw the movie earlier in the week. What a trippy movie, the music, the images, and the storyline all blended together to form a unique mosiac of the past, present, and future. But, it is the kind of movie alot of folks probably won't appreciate, especially if one likes their movies linear, logical, and an ending that is neat and tidy. Personally, I found the film emotionally satisfying and intellectually stimulating. While the film probably provokes questions about death and dying for most people who saw the film this is not what I found particularly interesting or intriquing. Death is not something I give much thought to because I figure there is nothing I can do about it and what I believe or don't believe about death and what happens after one dies is not going to effect what "actually" happens when a person dies. Of course, I may be singing a different tune when the time approaches for the grim reaper to visit me....What intriqued me about the film is to what great lengths people will go to find a solution or formula to the problems and challenges we all face in this life....and....the film reminded me that there is so much in this life that is out of our control, ultimately, and no matter how intelligent, hard working, and passionate we are there are many things we will never control or master for one reason or another. I doubt this is the point the director was trying to make but this is what I got out of the film. If one goes into this film looking or searching for some kind of deep philosophical meaning I suspect one will be disappointed....but....if one just absorbs the sights, sounds, and emotional energy of the movie without thinking too much or trying to figure out some deep meaning than I think one will appreciate the film for what it is.....


Dave said...

That's a nice recap of the most recent week in your life, Bilbo. I wish I had the chance to get away into some beautiful wilderness areas like you describe but I'm pretty much stuck close to home and work and routines these days. That picture of the redwood trail made me want to jump through the screen and make a clean break for it, but that would just cause problems with me and my co-workers if I were to try it for real.

Thanks for sharing your impressions of The Fountain. I think the "meaning" you got out of it is perfectly legitimate and just one of many truths to be found in the film that I figure Aronofsky himself would not argue with.

Bilbo said...

If you ever do decide to make a clean break and jump through the screen I'll be waiting for you on the other side. Iv'e got an extra bike or two laying around and I'd be more than happy to act as a tour guide if you ever make it to my neck of the woods. In the meantime enjoy staying close to home, work, and family. There is something to be said for what you do have...and...I wish I had a bit of what you have and I suspect you probably wish you had a little of what I have. Funny how life is that way...