Simplicity is not my strong suit. Never has been.
I tend to elaborate, complicate and confound. But I'm determined to change. You know, like Obama says.
A couple nights ago, I decided to join an old friend for a drink. This friend has a voracious appetite for news and an uncanny ability to retain the most minute details, effortlessly jumping from Carlton Fiske's 1982 batting average to the last Presidential appointee to go down in flames, Daschle style (some guy I never heard of from the Reagan administration who got caught with a bunch of whores). And he's intensely cynical - a trait I truly admired in him but one that was truly bumming me out the other night.
Among other things, we discussed our newly appointed, first gay mayor's indiscretions, the ramifications of Tom Daschle's ouster, the foreshadowing of the DOW Jones going as low as 6500 points and the LNG (liquefied natural gas) trade that's threatening the Oregon coast line for no apparent gain and the dangerous pipelines that will surely follow.
My second Jamesons started loosening the synapses as I took in all this doom and gloom and my mind couldn't help but wander, thinking I had done a horrible thing by bringing a child into this hopeless place. I wondered if it was unfair to leave her here without a sibling, or if it's just best to leave unwell enough alone.
A stranger at the other end of the bar, a local building contractor, listening intently to my friend's diatribe, chimed in. Turns out, he was equally well-read. He spoke to the issues with a similar fluidity and agreed with my friend's general malaise.
I finally stopped them both - mostly because I couldn't even begin to contribute to the conversation - but under the guise of not wanting to go home miserable and to please allow me to just enjoy the rest of my drink.
And then this man at the end of the bar said something so poignant and wonderful. He said, "The world will go on. It will just do so with fewer resources and those who can adapt to a simpler lifestyle will be the best prepared for what's to come."
So right now, I'm gonna hop on my bike and ride into work (oh, for those paying attention, my job has been restored. For the time being), and just try to keep it simple. Stupid.