No, I’m not advising the hair of the dog. I wrote this a month ago and just found it again. It seemed serendipitous to find it on New Years Eve. So here it is. Happy New Year!
“The best path, my friend, is a perpetual drunkenness. Even if your external appearance remains sober, the cup of your soul must always taste this wine of felicity. Only this, my friend, can protect you from an inner drought.”
Another one bartender! Cheers! A round for everyone, on me! Here’s to us, them, yesteryears, today, forever. It’s 4:42 AM and no, even though the idea isn’t entirely repulsive to me, I’m not currently having a Bloody Mary. In all likelihood that will however occur a few weeks from now on vacay but at a Bloody respectable hour for goodness sake. This morning I’m not talking about the myriad levels of drunkenness achieved through imbibing libations. No, the drunkenness I’m recommending doesn’t come from a can, bottle, box (don’t judge) or keg. The prescription I’m virtually writing for you, for all of us, is the inebriation to be found in a lifestyle of perpetual wonder, awe, gratitude and recognition of our interdependence, a non-generic lifestyle chosen for its rejuvenating, redemptive, prophylactic nature.
Lifestyle changes don’t occur instantaneously or without distinct personal challenges. We can’t just sign up for the Oprah/Deepak endorsed program, pay the monthly fee, weigh in, get our “points” reference book and claim success. Believe me, I’ve been on the turnpike of more than a few revisionist journeys through the years (still am actually) and have also crashed in the median, hugged the shoulder, ignored temperature gauges and road signs, veered across the double white lines and driven off a few cliffs in this great chase we’re all run/walking in.
Raising “the cup of your soul” and tasting the “wine of felicity* ” (*happiness) can and does occur spontaneously and without alcohol or effort on our part, but a meaningful, long-term lifestyle change, regardless of who we are or where we’ve been, requires us to take a well lit “sober” look in the mirror and admit the part we play in the happiness of our days. We may not be able to control everything that happens to us/in our lives , but we CAN control our own actions and how we react to those events, what we do with what we learn from them.
That “inner drought” that we all need protection from is flu-bug fierce. It invades and spreads instantaneously, with added support from all forms of news media. As I sat down to my computer to edit this post, the news headline that greeted me was ” 14 Dead in California Shooting”. My heart began to ache. Again. Mass gun or terrorist violence seems to be an everyday occurrence now and it would be so easy to lose hope for the future of mankind, to let it dry up and agree that our world is a sad, dangerous, and scary place. But we can’t let that happen. We can’t hide and hope it will go away. We can’t fight it with more darkness. We have to find the good in every day and bravely rise each morning to “rain” more good down, to counter the drought that seeks to evaporate our felicity. We must look for the light and add ours to it. We must fill our soul cups with enough felicity to share.
There is no denying the serious problems we face. I don’t have all the answers for solving world hunger, homelessness, gun violence, injustice or terrorism. I do have a peace loving and compassionate heart that can look for ways to help in my own community, learn about issues and needs around the world and do what I can with what I have. If we all do the same, the light that illuminates our way shines brighter.
Stay perpetually drunk my friends, on the multitude of miracles in this life and all of the good that exists.
Let’s do it. Let’s toast and be brave. Let’s roll!
Peace and Love