Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Here’s what I like… I like a well-placed china crash or splash cymbal in a piece of music. I like meeting my wife in a coffee shop and talking about life for a few before we go back to work. I like driving alone on a desert highway at twilight and seeing a reddish sky. I like encouraging young soldiers and making them laugh on a drill weekend. I like coming across a well-crafted or profound phrase, sentence, or passage in a novel and reading it over and over. I like coming out of the gym after a good workout and refreshing shower. I like sitting in a park or walking through a meadow during autumn and gazing at maple trees. I like my cat plopping down on my chest in the morning when I’m still in bed.  I like sitting with my wife in an outdoors Jacuzzi in a hotel courtyard somewhere  in Arizona and letting the sun, whirling hot water, and tequila do their thing.

I like watching a movie at the theater with my kids and sharing the popcorn or sneaking in candy for them. I like standing in front of a classroom eliciting analysis in one moment and exercising my wit in the next. I like canoeing in a pristine lake with virtually no one around except close friends and an unsurpassed landscape of rock facings and pines. I like hitting the sack after a busy or strenuous day. I like sitting in a Mexican restaurant anticipating a nice plate of enchiladas. I like conversing with someone of a different culture or ethnicity. I like situating current events into a historical framework. I like lit candles on a winter night. I like staring at a campfire and getting lost in reverie. I like to admire the beauty and intelligence of a German shepherd.  I like laughing with my wife and daughters.

These are the moments I like best. Some are few and far between, others ready at hand. Sometimes they catch me unawares, at other times I seek them out. While my melancholy temperament prevents me from seeing this life as anything but a vale of tears, replete with the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” when I die I’ll be thankful for these moments.