Thursday, October 09, 2008

4 years (48 Months)

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Just finished Lucas' daily violin lesson. He has embraced the journey of sound with a full heart and the enthusiasm of youthful determination. Sometimes that means he has a a hard time focusing all of his energy on the lesson (is it even possible for a kid to focus all of his attention on just one thing?) but most of the time he's pretty good at keeping on track. We've been attending a group lesson for one hour every Saturday and just this week he attended his first private lesson. Following our time together on Saturdays he often tells me, "Daddy, I love my violin.", which is such a wonderful thing to hear from your four-year-old. You never really know what he's going to embrace and what he'll reject. I think that since we're constantly pumping the symphony of music in his ears that it's a part of life that he's always been intrigued about. I hope his enthusiasm continues on for the rest of his life.

As I mentioned before, I have also started learning the violin along with him. It's an incredible challenge and for the past month I've struggled a bit to make it a priority. Yet, for the first time in my life, I am learning how to play music. I'm getting excited just thinking about it. I love to create and tap into that beautiful spirit dwelling deep within us. It's the only reason that I became a writer. Not because I thought I could express something valuable for the world or teach others with my words or because I loved the idea of language. Actually I didn't like doing any of those things for most of my youth. But I had to know the inner beat of my heart. I needed to connect with the pulsing thread of my life that communicated with the universe, that went beyond crass conscious thought. I had to express my creative spirit. For the longest time, it was the only way that I felt alive and when I could see that truth about myself I made a determination to become a writer, a poet, a musician, a philosopher, a painter, then a muse.

Right now I'm Lucas' muse in a way. I'm doing everything that I can to help him connect to his creative spirit. I'm pushing him toward activities that give him awareness; music lessons, gymnastics, art, gardening and also steering him away from things that might cause him to forget himself; television, just about anything that's advertised for children, anything completely passive but mostly just keeping the television turned off. I want him to grow up with an understanding of life that is more in tune with the natural world.

Long ago, when we we're just children, we wandered the earth. Both Xtimu and I have stories about the adventurous lives we led on other continents found in canyons and abandoned golf courses and creek-beds and deserts and treetops. We felt wild and free and when I look around at the environment where our children grow, I get a little sad. They don't have that freedom. They have safety instead.

But no matter what kind of places we build in our communities, whether free or natural or safe or stifling, everyone has the ability to explore an amazing place that exists deep inside. The creative and imaginative soul is one that will always be free from any type of tyranny imposed. We have to give our children the tools to connect with this precious part of their beings. So much of our society is geared toward hindering and diminishing people's spirit. The onslaught of depression that has plagued the modern person is directly connected to our consumer culture that only thrives when you feel insecure.

I don't want my children to feel that way. I don't want to pass on that legacy to them. I'm sick of dealing with it for myself but now I have to contemplate the world that I am going to hand over to these precious little souls. Why would we ever want to give them such a horrible place? For many years, generation after generation did everything in their power to make life better for the next one. When did that ambition become one where we took more from the generation that would follow. It's a tragic curse that has poisoned the well and the villagers just keep on drinking.

We have to grow up. Once we become parents, our lives are not as important as those children that sleep in the next room. We have to think about all of the opportunities that we can provide for them first, before we selfishly act on our own needs. At least that's a sign of a mature person and as I look around, I'm constantly amazed by how immature our culture has become. Well, we'd better wake up and see the truth through the trees before the trees are gone and our children are living in a wasteland. But if that happens, even if all the resources are severely diminished, at least I know that my child will have something bountiful and precious. They will know the path into their hearts. They will understand that it's not about where they live but how they live that matters the most. At least I can give them that.

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