You Look Like Yourself

This morning I ran into a friend that I haven’t seen in a while. He observed (much to my delight) that I have lost weight. I’ve dropped a bit over 30 lbs at this point, so it’s really nice to have someone notice. I thanked him for telling me. And then he said something interesting:  “Looks good. You look like yourself.”

Say what?

I paused to think on that. It seems to make sense now. When you begin to get to a place physically and emotionally that is approximating “right” — I think perhaps you do start to “look like yourself.” I’ve gotten rid of some of that padding that might have been useful to hide behind. I spent a very long time working at being comfortable with who I am emotionally and spiritually… it’s often not easy for some of us to see and experience our own emotions and situations without running and hiding.

So — I think this is good. I rather like the idea of looking like myself. Even if that self has flaws, gets angry for reasons that are difficult to suss out and still carries a bit too much padding.

Sixties on Six

We’ve been travelling and taking advantage of the XM radio available in my car by listening to XM 6 — which is all 60’s music.

I was a preteen and young teenage in the 60’s — I was a bit young to take off for Woodstock, but not too young to revel in it. The first song I learned to play on a stringed instrument was “Charlie and the MTA” by the Kingston Trio. I loved (and still do) Peter, Paul and Mary, the Beatles, the Monkees, Buffalo Springfield, Donovan…

As I listened all the way up the interstate I was struck by a certain innocence in the revolution of the 60’s. There was conflict. There was an outright throwing over of the values of the previous generation. But, as misguided as parts of that revolution might have turned out, there was a real optimism. There seemed to be a real belief that there truly is a new world to be experienced.

I sat and sank into the Seekers singing “I’ll Never Find Another You”

There’s a new world somewhere
They call The Promised Land
And I’ll be there some day
If you will hold my hand
I still need you there beside me
No matter what I do
For I know I’ll never find another you

There is a sense of hope that I find missing today. It seems that if there is a revolution today, it smacks more of the Taliban and rules and negative results. This generation is faced with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, multiple wars (instead of just Viet Nam) and they don’t appear to be nearly as optimistic that these obstacles can be creatively overcome.

To have hope, it seems that one needs to believe that there is a Promised Land and someone to hold on to on the journey to that Promised Land. There is a need to believe that the Promised Land can be here and now or is here and now and can impact us on our Journey. There is a need to understand that the most important component of the journey is not the material treasure, but the love of the the Companion (in my case, the love of Jesus who takes my hand and is The Way).

I hope that some of the optimism of the 60’s will invade the current generation and lead them to joy.