Watering the weeds
By Summer Bacon
“Going through life is like playing a Mozart piano concerto in public while trying to learn the instrument as you go along,” my friend, Burt, wrote in an email to me. We had just reconnected after 41 years, and after our “catch up on the past” emails, we started chatting about our life views.
There's a Milky Way candy bar commercial that cracks me up every time I see it. A female tattoo artist is tattooing the arm of an older guy. She is supposed to be tattooing the words, "NO REGRETS," but instead tattoos "NO REGERTS" because she is so busy eating her Milky Way candy bar. For some reason I find this so symbolic of life...especially my life. I have had many "regerts" that seem to be tattooed on my heart; all of the "woulda, coulda, shouldas" of life.
Today Dr. Peebles said (and I paraphrase), "You humans say, 'If only I had known then...' but, my dear friends, you could not have known then!"
Dr. Peebles' words finally sunk in. Having regrets about things I couldn't have known because I hadn't yet learned the lessons would be like getting mad at my 2 year old self for not knowing that 1+1=2. I didn't even know simple math at that stage of my life.
Sometimes I think, "I should have known better." Well, maybe I shoulda, but I went through with it anyway, because I had a lesson to learn that I would not have learned otherwise. Without the experience, I never would have grown.
No regerts anymore.
When I was very young I was fascinated by facing two mirrors towards each other and looking at infinity being birthed, as they would reflect each other's image back at each other endlessly. It was even more awesome when I stepped into the reflection, and saw the infinite replicas of myself.
I then paused one day to ponder the universe, and wondered, "Is there an end to the sky?" Well, yes, there's an end to the atmosphere in which we live, but beyond that there is more. I thought about the moon, and Mars, and as I looked beyond our planets and solar system, there was still more! It was a mind-blowing adventure, because no matter how hard I tried to look for the end of the universe, there was always more.
Oh, how I wish people would look up at the sky more often and contemplate the vastness of our universe. It is one way to experience the far reach of God's unconditional love for all of us. We may never know where or why it all began. It just is.
And, thank God, it is endless.
It was 1983, I was 23 years old, and my fun-loving boyfriend, Pete, and I were riding our bikes all over the San Fernando Valley, wearing no helmets, popping "wheelies" and flying off of curbs like we did when we were kids. We would ride for miles, with no destination in mind, except for the occasional dinner at Truly Yours where we would share delicious cream of watercress soup and a bottle of Fetzer wine.
I was 17 years old and we were in process of moving from our amazing old house in Granada Hills, CA, to a beautiful, newer tract home in Northridge, CA. Our new home was up in the hills, and was two stories tall. I’d never lived in a two story home before, and was so excited about it.
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By Phil Hartman
It was a dark and stormy night in 1970. No, really, it was. I was only 10 years old standing outside of a pub in Germany that overlooked the Rhine River. But, I couldn’t see the river, because it was such a dark and stormy night. No rain yet, but scary enough for a 10 year old. It was late, and the pub would probably close in an hour or two…or three. And I was thirsty.
"Click! Click!" We all know that sound of a lighter—click, click—as someone tries to light a cigarette, joint, candle, or campfire. It can also ignite a forest fire, if not used carefully.
When I was a teenager, I’d often sit at the kitchen table doing my homework (usually struggling with math), and my Mom would wander in, ready to cook something for dinner. I loved the way she floated around the kitchen, usually barefoot and wearing a long homemade dress that would swish as she walked. She was in love with the tomatoes she would slice, oo-ing and ah-ing at their perfection. She would pat the thawed chicken affectionately, and thank it for being so beautiful, and for becoming our dinner. I truly believed that any chicken would honored to be one of her meals, because she was an extraordinary and loving cook. Meanwhile, a cloud formation outside the kitchen window might catch her eye, and she would gasp in awe and wonder at its beauty.
It was 1972, and I was 12 years old as I walked the two city blocks to Tempo Records in Granada Hills, CA, clutching my birthday money in my hand, feeling very nervous and excited about my mission. I had set out to buy my very first vinyl record, by David Bowie.
It was 1981, and I was in Mantua, Ohio, staying with my beloved Grandma as I was re-cooperating from my first disastrous and scary three month marriage. Grandma was a tiny, feisty woman, who grew up with 15 siblings. She had an 8th grade education, but was quite smart in the ways of the world that she grew up in.