Wednesday, May 27, 2009

56 Months

Went to see Jens Lekman yesterday at UCSD in a great new space called The Loft. He was a real gentlemen, down to earth and accessible, the furthest thing from a rock star. It was a pleasant and wonderful evening where Xtimu and I (along with my cousin Yeshua) were able to escape for awhile, which has become a renewed blessing now that Quinn is growing up so fast.

We really had to go because he's been on our radar for a couple of years now and we figured that he's the type of musician who will probably come through San Diego maybe once or twice during his career. We appreciate his music quite a lot and were not disappointed at all. One of the great things about the show was the venue. It's a small intimate place and the show was sold out but they didn't cram the room full of people. So the rush to the stage wasn't so overwhelming and if you wanted to stand at the back, the band was still only a few paces away. They even had sofa-benches and table in the back, which Xtimu and I lounged at the end of the show. It felt like we were listening to Jens live in our living room.

Another aspect of the night that felt really refreshing was the opening act. I searched high and low to see if there was an opening band but couldn't find anything listed anywhere. When we arrived we quickly found out that there was going to be an opener but it was a comedian, Tig Notaro, who Jens introduced himself. It was nice to have a light laugh before a rock concert because, maybe I'm beginning to show my age, I can only take standing before a wall of noise for so long. Very few opening bands ever have the stuff to keep me in the room but we enjoyed the entire length of Tig's routine from only a few feet away, which is quite a gamble considering her affection for insulting people in the audience.

We thought about taking Lucas because Mr. Jens is one of his favorite lyrical artists right now. He even played Lucas' favorite song where he knows all the words and sings it to us often. He even told me that he wanted to go but we weren't sure about subjecting his ears to the monster amplified sounds of Swedish pop music (the samples were outrageously loud!). I don't know, I guess 56 months is a little too early to get him into stuff like concerts and cooler than thou activities. I always imagined that I would be one of those parents that took their kids to everything but once you're raising them, it's easy to see that there are times when it's okay to let them wait. I'm an Aries and we don't like to wait for anything. It's taken many, many years of diligent patient meditative practices to get over that infuriating habit of wanting everything now, of worrying that maybe I'm going to miss something (when all I was missing was what was happening to me right at that moment). Lucas has a tendency toward impatience as well. Christ, our instant gratification culture trains us all to indulge that impulse as quickly as possible so I can see how people tend to become antsy at the thought of missing out (maybe it has nothing to do with astrology?).

I know that I am a better person when I can appreciate my life just the way that it is, at the natural pace that occurs. I call it the life pace. Life is never happening too fast or too slow. We don't ever have too much time on our hands or not enough time on our hands. It's always happening at the exact same pace as it always happens. No matter where we go or what we do or how old we get or when it all falls into place, the pace of life will never change. One of the aspects of the Buddhism that I study is that there is a rhythm in the universe and a rhythm to your life. You meditate to connect with this rhythm and by connecting to this rhythm, the things that happen to you don't seem like such a difficulty. The essence of Buddhism really tries to help you appreciate where you are right now and help you try to comprehend what you want out of life so that you can start making effective decisions to get you to where you want to be tomorrow. It's not so complicated and obscure. It's simply a way of finding the wisdom to make your dreams a reality.

Lucas will have lots of exciting events to go to in his life and every day Xtimu and I include him in more and more of our activities. He's our friend as well as our son and we like him a lot. I hope that Jens will come back in a few years when Lucas is ready to attend one of his shows. In the meantime, we got him a t-shirt and let him listen to Jens Lekman whenever he wants.

And can you.

P.S. I can't say it enough but Jens is really a great guy. After the show he told us all that if we wanted to talk to him or get him to sign something then he would be available. So for over an hour he stood at the side of the room and greeted anyone who wanted to talk to him. There was a line of fifty people waiting and I saw him chatting with people as if he had all the time in the world. I saw him talk to someone's friend on the phone and he hugged almost everyone. Even Xtimu went up when the night was dying down and asked him why he would take the time to do all of that. He just said that he really appreciated everyone and wanted them to know it. It's kind of like that story about Mr. Rogers going in to say hello to his driver's family and staying for hours because he just loved the company. Mr. Lekman even told Xtimu that we could get the violin arrangements for his songs so that Lucas can play them if we just emailed him., thanks!

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