Waiting (five things that made me smile today).
…talking loudly with my buddy at the local public library. We spoke of New York City, Spartacus, and his son who was once three and knew the flags of the world. Then he grew up.
…walking into the room to find one child reading a novel about Greece, another writing a story about Spartans, and a third drawing an intricate illustration of Elmo.
…discussing the modern reexamination of Aristotle with the kids. The guy was wrong about so many things…but we were talking about was how great it was that he inspired so many other scientists and researchers and thinkers to surpass his observations and achievements…and how if he were alive he would probably be happy that they had done so. In fact, that was a big part of his teachings: emphasizing the importance of observing the natural world closely and then making original conjectures. After his death, his followers focused so much on teaching what he had discovered and observed that they neglected to focus on what was so important to him: constantly observing with fresh eyed and making tentative assertions and conjectures…not arrogant assertions of infallibility. Aristotle kickstarted the idea of observing, classifying and organizing information in ways they still benefit the science community today. But he wouldn’t have rested on his achievements. He might have been friends or at least an admirer of Galileo’s for being willing to carry on his spirit of inquiry…even though it was Gal’s provenance of the heliocentric theory that directly disproved Aristotle’s geocentric conjecture of planetary motion that had been dogma for a thousand+ years, and that led to a muckraking of Aristotle’s reputation and legacy for a few hundred years.
I felt connected with Aristotle as we dialogued about him. That’s what a parent does - or should do: move forward with your best conjectures, introduce interesting ideas, encourage those around you to come up with their own questions and lines of inquiry, and try to build stronger people than you yourself are, even though it might make your life harder at some points.
…Hawksley Workman’s wonderful 2019 track Birds in Train Stations.
…the children throwing rocks into a river together.
…seeing my wife unexpectedly at lunch and sharing an iced coffee.
…waiting with my youngest son in the rain for his mom to pull in the driveway. A ritual I have done with the kids their entire lives and will do for another, oh I don’t know…forever?
Waiting is so underrated. It is inefficient and serves no purpose or productivity schedule. It is simply a way for me to say: thank you, and you are the most important thing and I am glad you’re home now.