In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville cautioned, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
my hands are sweating (I want this to be perfect)
for no reason, no grade, there’s no point
I just want it to be perfect
as if pushing myself was a necessity
an obsession – and my expectation
is not letting me let go
There’s a pride that comes from a prior generation
that has nothing to do with with reward
that has nothing to do with grades
there’s no payment for perfect
that’s just the way it should be done
as if expectations grew from the dust of depression
and a nation’s greatest generation gave me a work ethic
and now I adhere to it because he would have expected it
and I’d never want to let him down
so I wear my blue-collared shirt to every presentation
my white undershirt underneath in his honor
I do the math in my head out of habit
I still hear him
and so a life that started stealing watermelons and swimming in the bay
is echoing in a presentation at Oxford today
just another reason I want it to be perfect
“Live as if you will die tomorrow, learn as if you will live forever”
– Mahatma Ghandi
Let us have madness openly.
O men Of my generation.
Let us follow
The footsteps of this slaughtered age:
See it trail across Time’s dim land
Into the closed house of eternity
With the noise that dying has,
With the face that dead things wear–
nor ever say
We wanted more; we looked to find
An open door, an utter deed of love,
Transforming day’s evil darkness;
but We found extended hell and fog Upon the earth,
and within the head
A rotting bog of lean huge graves.
“There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”
Sir Francis Bacon
I am working on a piece of music right now that, while keeping traditional types of harmony, rejects the traditional structure entirely, and borrows heavily from atonality. I think that it is the most beautiful thing I have ever made. There is just enough of the traditional sounds to give the listener something to grab onto, but there is enough strangeness for it to grab the listener back and to keep his interest.
We are drawn to the beautiful by the familiar in it, but it is the strangeness which will not let us go.
Recieved a text message the other day with the following message “Great to see you again coach, you’re invited to the tailgate just so you know”
It was from a kid I coached about 2 years ago. A friends brother had formed a basketball team, and they needed a coach, since I had a little experience via osmosis he asked me. I coached he and his friends for about 4 months and it was a great experience. They got better, and had fun, I learned a lot about coaching, as well as myself. It was a tremenous experience.
About a year ago a handful of kids from that team began working for me part time. Even as their boss, they all simply address me as “Coach”. I don’t think I can overstate the sense of pride that gives me. Having been around team sports, and “coaches”, my entire life I know the sense of respect I have for someone I address as coach. The people that have had an impact on my life, that have truly made me a better person, whether they coached me in T-ball or high school basketball, are “coach” to me for life.
A good buddy of mine and I talk basketball on a regular basis. There is one person who we refer to simply as “coach” without a last name necessary. We’ve both played for dozens of coaches in our lives, but “coach” is Morgan Wootten. Other people we’ve played for that we don’t quite have the same respect for we may refer to by simply their last name. I don’t conciously do it, and I’d imagine my friend doesn’t either. But there is a certain level of respect that comes with that term.
I’ll run into retired coaches all the time, a lot of them good friends, they all get addressed as “Coach so and so”. Not “Billy” or “Pete” or “Mr. Smith” or “Ms. Roberts”. They are coaches, it’s not what they do, it’s who they are. “Coach” takes precedent over any other area of their life.
Anyways, it’s just neat to be called “coach” and not “some guy that tried to get us to run a zone defense and sucked at it”.
//hat tip: Marzyeh