Monday, September 30, 2019

Our 130th Birthday Party

I turned 70 years old this September.  And my partner turned 60 in late August.  So we decided to have a 130 year celebration on the Equinox. We did it at the big house.  It's not that big, but by using the outside courtyard in back and the large front porch, we can entertain about 125 people.  And we had that plus some.  Since it was a UT football game night, we were nervous about the parking so we urged everyone to Uber/Lift over and quite a few did.

We like throwing big parties.  For the most part, we produce them.  That means we do most of the work like renting the tables and linens, the plates and the silverware, putting up the tents, and giving the house and outside areas a good 3 year cleaning. We could not have done it without Ted and Kevin, and a host of others, including my grandson Lex and his pal Will.

It all starts of course with a good invitation.  Then we have to line up the entertainment.  We were lucky to get Kimmie Rhodes, an old friend and prolific song writer.  She brought along her son Gabe, who is one of the better guitar players in Austin these days. We also got Beth Lee and the Breakups for after dinner.  After many years of hard work, she may be on the verge of a break out herself.

With all that talent, we of course had to have really good sound for our two stages. That includes stage monitors and sound checks.  My experience from the old Armadillo days seems to always pay off in wonderful ways.

As for food, we brought in food with our favorite dishes from our favorite restaurants.  We had food from 34th street, Asti, Utchico, Santa Rita, and Quatro Gatti. We served our favorite wines and our house specialty drink was  the Moscow Mitch, basically a Moscow Mule with a little bitch in it.

I planned some smart seventy year old stuff to say and I think I said some of it:

"Thank you all for coming…I want to offer an apology for the heat.  I spent most of my adult career fighting climate change and pretty clearly even with all the great battles we have won over these years, I fear we are losing the war.

I also want to apologize for the lack of parking. The connection to the previous sentences should not be lost on us.

Many of you know how I often talk about how being human is a struggle between being in your Buddha Mind or your Bubba Brain, and somewhere in-between.  And how being the best of who “you are” is what matters in life.  Not the best of who “you think you should be”, but the best of who you really are... that we should be kind,  be thoughtful, and be respectful as Steve says, of place, others, and self.

In short, most of us try to not be an asshole.  But we also need to be courageous, to be smart, to be focused, and in some cases cunning.

I told Cousin Lisa that when I was pretty young,  I made a vow to peak in my sixties…And in many ways I was successful.  Seventy seemed like a really long way away back then.  As the invitation said, I thought it would take a lot longer to get old.

Later in the evening,  Mayor Adler came by and made the announcement that he had appointed me to be Special Envoy to the World Mayor's Summit in Copenhagen.  This event is a C40 event primarily sponsored and funded by Mike Bloomberg.  In my view, C40 is now the most important governmental organization dealing with Climate Change.  

After the Mayor's announcement I read out of one of my favorite little books called "Spiritual Notes to Myself" by Hugh Prather.

"One man drinks beer, watches television, wildly cheers for his team at games, and sometimes says, Pull my finger"  Another man reads books, attends meetings on spiritual subjects, and at games, takes no sides.  We say the second man is more spiritual than the first. Yet the first man may be a very loving father, a devoted spouse, and a good friend, whereas the second man may be righteous, rigid and uncaring.  We all know relationships in which one partner attends the meetings and talks the talk, and yet his or her spiritually illiterate partner clearly is a better human being.  Even most little kids are better human beings than the adults around them-and young children can't even grasp a spiritual concept! 
As we awake, our actions will change.  But we can't awake by changing our actions."
We awake through the Heart. We grow in the Buddha Mind.  And the Decades, they run like a River.

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