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will i:i willdrink more (liquids:all) give:more be:more:awesome maintain my spine:angle have a conversation:with my son listen:to more OR less carpenters make no predictions:about excercise contribute to:the future cut handicap:in half move:to a house with a usable yard be inspired:inspire greatness eat more (solids:all)
The boy (Bruce Alexander Gibson V, born November 26, 2009) has been keeping me pretty occupied lately, so most of my upload time is devoted to pictures of him. If you’re into baby pics, I’ve created a gallery full of them and update it frequently.
I hope to put pen to paper again when he gets on more of schedule… P.S. When will that be?
I turned 35 a few days ago and was feeling both old and young at once. The younger me saw opportunity and the older flinched for a second at the fading memories.
While I drifted through the endless possibilities of what I could have done differently in the past to have MORE now and have achieved MORE, and on and on… I paused and instead decided to think of all the moments I am grateful for in my life. Experiences that possibly defined, but certainly remained permanently forged in my memory banks. I decided to wait until now to recall some of them so they would be freshly renewed.
In no particular order, I am grateful for and remember:
• My parents letting me build a half-pipe skateboard ramp with my friends in the backyard even though they were both attorneys. That’s cool.
• Going WAY too fast on my skateboard down that Georgia hill, getting the wobbles, sliding across the gravel and landing in a ditch of thorns. All while my entire family watched.
• Dropping in on my first wave at “Roca Loca” in Costa Rica. Missing the “Roca” and feeling the exhilaration of an 8’ Pacific swell and its power for the first time.
• Swimming with whales in Pacific many years later. Wow.
• Watching the reef pass under my surfboard in Puerto Rico.
• Not getting pulled over by that Puerto Rican Policeman after we left the bar.
• Swimming at midnight in the
• Sailing for weeks to the Bahamas, sleeping very little, drinking only Kalik, working throughout the day, diving and fishing for dinner, and feeling alive.
• Seeing my first eel underwater. WAY scarier looking underwater than a shark.
• Hearing “Take the money and Run” by the Steve Miller Band and deciding that I wanted to learn how to play it on the drums.
• Playing timbales on a Ringo Starr album.
• Paying a local fisherman in Costa Rica to take us to “Ollies Point” and “Witch’s Rock”. Two famous and hard to reach surf spots in Costa Rica.
• Asking Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew about the break at Rocky Point. Being VERY humbled by the power from the ocean on the North Shore of Oahu.
• Led by some Dominican teens, we snuck into the burned and abandoned mansion of former tyrannical ‘Dictator’ Trujillo. Although he died 30 years earlier, it was very spooky place.
• Walking a great distance in Paris to find the restaurant Chez Pierre. A hole in the wall that had the best lamb I’ve ever tasted.
• Seeing Patrick Stewart in London. Seriously, it could not have been a more fitting sighting for tng trekkie with only 5 hours in London.
• Playing in a Jazz quintet as a museum exhibit in the Boston. I don’t play Jazz.
• Playing on stage at a festival in Gainesville with my band. Hearing the sound of my snare ricochet off the back of the empty venue.
• Walking on stage barefoot at the Gainesville Center for Performing Arts and playing brazilian drums for a sold out show.
• Seeing my future wife for the first time. Awkwardly extending my hand instead of going for the hug. (Blind date jitters!)
• Laying on the smooth rock beach in Positano, Italy.
• Walking through the mazelike streets of Venice, Italy.
• Learning and playing Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on piano. Forgetting it.
• Going to a strip club with David Lee Roth.
• Nearly drowning in a Costa Rican river. Feeling very fortunate and grateful.
• Hiking the Grand Tetons with my father
• Watching Tiger Woods hit a golf shot up close.
• Listening to my mother play “Spinning Song” on the Piano
• Watching my beautiful wife walk down the aisle and hearing the bagpipes.
• Hearing my band on the radio for the first time.
• Having the opportunity to ask some artists in person about albums they made that I listened to endlessly.
• Surfing way out on the 3rd sandbar by myself during a storm and seeing a shark coming towards me. That was 15 years ago and I remember EXACTLY what that dorsal fin looked like.
• Spending 24 hours in solitude at the Great Sand Dunes.
• Ending that with time with amazing friends.
• Watching my father cry at my sister’s wedding.
• Watching my grandfather tune our piano.
and on and on and on…
Looking back on this list makes me feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to have had all these experiences and opportunities, grateful for the people I shared them with, and grateful for memories that I was left with. I’m ready for at least 35 years of new ones now.
Golf is my teacher, my meditation, my compass, my punching bag, my fortuneteller, my escape, and my mirror. It has been called everything from “the perfect asana” to “a good walk spoiled”. I prefer the former.
For many, golf is an “activity” for lazy, fat, rich, white men. Thankfully, Tiger Woods came along 10 years ago and uprooted that with his pure mental and physical domination of the game. I like Tiger. He’s a performer and winner, yet he grasps the nature that golf is a pursuit to be continuously explored, studied, and mastered, yet will never be conquered. He’s traditionally dodged any questions pertaining to the “deeper pursuits” of golf, despite the fact that his mother is Buddhist, however I sense a deeper connection to the game beyond his physical and mental fascination.
Golf, and more precisely the golf swing, tells me a lot about what is going on in my life. I’m open to the possibility that it’s all projection; but that still leaves the beauty that the swing is an echo of what’s happening in the moment. By the way, Michael Murphy wrote the seminal work
on the subject of golf = life = spiritual expression, so if it peaks your interest – start here.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s just accept that the golf swing includes 5 parts: the grip, the setup, the backswing, the downswing (pre and post contact), and the follow through. I find that as my life goes through stages of development, both as a whole, and in parts of everything from relationships to projects, aspects of struggle and success manifest in my golf swing accordingly. For instance, the last few years I was “coincidentally” working on reconstructing my setup and backswing (preparation) as I was developing and creating new projects in my work life.
After several years of preparation on both fronts, I realized I was in a perfect position “at the top” (the moment the backswing ends and downswing begins), however the contact and follow through fell apart. What was going on in my life? I was spending an immense amount of time sculpting and perfecting recordings and albums, however when it came time to launch, the records fell flat.
I assumed that the publicity and release of the record (much like the “release” of the club) was someone else’s responsibility. I spent months creating a fantastic album, and then waited for someone to send me a royalty check. And while the latter stages weren’t my responsibility, they were responsible for me not garnering success from all of the work I had done. In short, who cared how great the production of the album was if I DIDN’T HIT THE BALL AND FOLLOW THROUGH.
Since that period in my life, I have worked more on personally escorting projects as far as I can. Concurrently, my golf swing’s impact position and after became the point of study. I began to experience the feeling of compacting the ball, releasing the club, and finishing balanced and complete. Because in the end, that’s all we can do. Make a full swing with complete intention and connection and trust the results…
But today I worked on my grip. I’ve felt a reboot coming in my life for a while and it turns out my golf grip is a little off. My hands are unconsciously separating during the backswing, and consequently are hopelessly disconnected by impact. On the range, I realized that the more my grip is off in the beginning, the less of a chance anything after that has of being effective. As I drove home I wondered, what is the essential reboot in my life that wants to happen?
Otherwise, it looks a bit lonely.
Ugh, I thought.
“Is this your 4 ounces of Sensodyne toothpaste?”
“Um, yes it is.” I answered, slightly embarrassed by my sensitivity.
“Are you aware that any liquids or gels over three and a half ounces need to be in a plastic bag, or checked?”
“Um, well, I, um…Yes, I guess I was but…”
“I’m going to have to throw this in the trash.”
You’re going to confiscate my Sensodyne toothpaste? I’m mean, I kind of get the theory about using gels as explosive materials, and maybe I can excuse the level of ridiculousness that the TSA has taken this liquid witch hunt to, but…
“Hey Musharraf! Are you ready to take down capitalism in the name of Allah?!”
“Are you ready to give your life as a commitment to this cause?!”
“Yes! Absolutely! I’m in! But wait! Hold on a second, these sensitive teeth are killing me! I mean really, I’ve got to get a hold of some very gentle and delicate pain-relieving toothpaste that can help rebuild the enamel on my teeth over time. I realize I might be dead in a matter of days, but certainly I can go pain free in the mean time.”