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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fickle Fun

I'm now in Missoula, Montana.  Mark Sundeen, his fiance, Cedar, and I have been on the road together, doing this book tour thingy in Los Angeles, Colorado (Grand Junction, Durango, Paonia, Telluride), and Utah (Moab, Salt Lake City) for the past few weeks, with a few radio interviews sprinkled in. We've been amazed at the attendance, reception and open-heartedness of people at all the events, so far - with hugs and tears.  Mark and I have also been running into long lost friends coming out of the woodwork through all this.

We even stayed with Mark's family in LA, and I've finally been able to learn more about Mark's life.  Not so one-sided as it's been ;-)
 
Then my family.  My parents even attended at the Grand Junction, Colorado presentation at the library.  I felt very moved seeing them there, and hearing their comments.  The Man Who Quit Money contains things I previously only told my closest friends and family, so I was feeling quite vulnerable having it published for all the world to read.  And I was feeling most nervous about how my parents would receive it, even though we had discussed most everything in it.  But they keep proving, over and over, their unconditional love.

We are getting ready to do our northwestern tour.  We have a reprieve in Missoula until April 18th, the Quit Money Day panel discussion here at the Missoula Public Library.  After that we head west, doing book events up and down the west coast, including Portland, Seattle, and possibly San Francisco.  We scratched Vancouver off our list since I can't cross the border legally without any form of ID. 

I'll try to list the dates and times of upcoming events when they are confirmed.

So how am I taking this personally?

Over the past couple years, as Mark was writing the book, I was wary of my own ego, how I'd handle all this.  But then I just decided it's like everything in life: accept it and enjoy it as it comes, then let it pass.  The funny thing about experiencing this as I'm older (soon to be 51) is that I have a strong sense of the fickle impermanence of life--my own mortality.  Our earth is a teeny-tiny, passing vapor in a galaxy that takes millions of years to make a single revolution.  Honestly, this really doesn't feel like such a big deal as I'd thought it would.  But it's fun, and why should it not be?  Like everybody, I've had too many childhood dreams at night of being a big star or a hero, to wake up and realize it was a fickle dream.  And I would wake up to a new day as just a child, no longer a hero, but could now romp and skip with neighbor kids, and with my brothers and my sister in the woods.  Enjoy time in the spotlight, enjoy watching it pass away - that's what dreams are for.  "Everything is beautiful in its time," and we realize this when we don't cling, don't possess.  We then know the blooming of a flower is no less beautiful than its wilting, its bowing to the ground, releasing seeds for another spring, another generation.  Okay, I'm getting maybe too romantic here.  Life sucks too.  But the suckiness of life is part of the fun, too, when savored, like delicious hot burning peppers in Mexican food, and makes for the best stories to tell grand kids.

My computer time is unpredictable these days, and usually not much time, so maybe I'll start writing shorter blog posts, more frequently?