Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.
I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This is one of the most hilarious bits from one of the most hilarious film series of all time. My Dad did not like movies much and he REALLY did not like comedians. But he would sit and watch Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther movies and laugh until he cried.
My contacts with dentistry caused me to cry for years for other reasons. No need to go into the horrific details here. Suffice to say, a visit to my latest dentist yesterday was a stout test for even a devoted Epic. And they don't even have a little tank of laughing gas to share like "Dr. Schultz" in the video clip. Not even a Martini. Not even a shot of Cuervo. Nada.
I mention all this only to say that if you keep yourself focused on the correct things, you can dredge up Epic gifts in the most unlikely places. Like the dentist chair. The first thing I realized is that I really LIKE this dentist. Dr. J exudes such an aura of competence and concern that the hapless patient cannot help but feel at ease. Laughing gas or no. Also, my dentist seems absolutely thrilled when she finishes working on your tooth and you tell her it feels great. I mean, she just BEAMS. Almost like she would do this every day for (gasp) nothing. Frankly, I cannot imagine working as a dentist all day, peering into the mouths of people like me. This lady is a very good example to me in my professional dealings with others. If only she had a bar in the office...
The second gift I found while in the chair was a little sign I saw when I managed to swivel my skull at an oblique angle for some purpose. No, I was not flinching or retching. In any event, the little chrome bar sat on a side table and read...
"What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail"?
I put the quote in a sort of peach tone because all of these dentist's offices today are adopting a "Tooth Spa" ambiance with pale pastel colors and the sort of music you would expect to hear in a surf-side massage tent in Tahiti. Without the nice lady cranking a tooth out of your jaw, of course. After reading this little sign, I was struck by its simple and powerful message. If the effort and target of the attempt are the same, then the only thing holding us back is fear of failing. So pick up the bat. Swing it. Hit or miss. Go there. Write it. Sing. Paint. Blog. Carve. Do the best darn expense ledger ever written. Whatever YOU love to do. Forget the failure part. Swing the bat.
Later, I learned that my new dentist was a dental file clerk in her first job. Then put herself through school to be a dental hygienist. She was so into the work, had such aptitude, and did such a fine job that the dentist she worked for paid for her to go to dental school. And look at her now. Absolutely in love with her profession. And passing that excitement along to all of us that come her way. Good for the older dentist that sent her on her path. And so very good for her.
"What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?". What would you?
In my early 60s, widower, father and itinerant storyteller. I am a putative jazz singer, poet and novelist, dedicated to mining every minute of life for the veins of pleasure they contain. My motto is "Dum Vivimus, Vivamus"..."While we Live--LET US LIVE".