taste the wine

In the movies, there’s often a recurring joke where an unsophisticated character is invited to have a glass of the finest wine with the host of the party who is knowledgeable… and proud of its value.

This wine may be a priceless vintage…very expensive…but the guest doesn’t understand its value…and when he’s given a glass, he downs it in one gulp like it was grape juice.

“Welllll, now…that was shore good…could I have another one of those, please?” he might say.

Of course, the host is horrified.  The host knows the value.

I’m the guy who drinks it fast.

And I’m the guy, too, who knows what he’s missed after it’s gone.

That’s my topic for today….appreciating things in the moment…recognizing value before it’s too late.

That’s what I am going to write about for this Tuesday, January 28….2014.

When I got up, the computer told me that Pete Seeger had died.

Pete Seeger was an “old guy with a banjo”.

He was a “relic”.

“His time had passed.”

He was a part of my youth….we sang his songs in the 60’s.

Maybe that’s what I thought in the back of my mind.  I hope not….but it might have been. Maybe I stopped paying attention. Maybe I “drank the wine” too fast. Maybe I didn’t appreciate what was good and real and honest like I should?

Look what his grandson said about him:

“He thought everyone could be heroic,” Seeger’s grandson said.  “He got the world to sing. I think he was a role model to his family, to the whole world.”

“He thought everyone could be heroic.”

I hope that someone confirms my optimism like that when I pass. I hope I’m consistently optimistic enough for anyone to notice.

I think sometimes we make fun of earnestness.

We make fun of earnestness because of the light it casts on our own lack of conviction.

We don’t pick a fight because we think that we can’t win it…that we can’t make a difference.

We stop trying.

We say, “That’s just the way the world is…you’re never going to change it.”

This guy, Pete Seeger….well, he was consistent and vigilant and a whole lot of good things…and he’s not around anymore.

He never stopped believing that a good man could make a difference….and never stopped acting on those beliefs.

It’s hard to lose the good ones.

It’s hard to realize that I should have “tasted the wine” when it was still around.

I should have paid closer attention.

But I have a life of my own. I have my own family.

I better figure out how to pay attention to them. “Bloom where I’m planted”…”do right” at home.

We watched some of the Grammy awards the other night…but went to bed before they did the big finale.

Last night, Jenny asked me “What was up with the big wedding at the end?”

Apparently they had a big same-sex wedding at the end of the night…an overblown spectacle of a performance.

I didn’t know….I was asleep when it happened.

But, you know…all the glitz and noise…all the glamour and flash…won’t have the lasting impact that an older fellow with a banjo could bring to this world.

When something good is lost, I sometimes wake up enough to say, “Did you see that? DID YOU SEE THAT?!! It must have been something good…it must have been a great thing that just passed by.”

Wasn’t that a time?

My eyes are wide open now.

Tuesday…..1/28/2014….5:50 AM.


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