Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Window on the World

A few weeks ago I shared a photo of sunrise through the big window in my office.  I'm on the 5th floor of a building that overlooks a number of things so it's almost having a private little window on the world.  When the weather gets nasty the window gets pelted by rain and/or wind, and we can see the clouds that sometimes stay offshore but never make it to land.

Yesterday was a fascinating day.  A fast moving system brought rain, high winds (it blew a Best Buy sign right off the store nearby), clouds racing across the sky, and ultimately sun.  Watching it all change like that was like watching several days in one.

We're also near the airport.  This airport is unique in that it's pretty small - at least by my standards - but it's also got the added "diversity" of being a Boeing production center, an Armed Services airpirt, and it's day job handling passenger service in and out of Charleston.

When you're near the airport you can see pretty much anything land, from F-16 fighters (usually in pairs) to huge, lumbering C-17 or C130 transport planes to a huge, swollen plane that Boeing uses to transport constructed fuselage parts across country.

Transport plane landing at CHS today....
A couple of days ago we saw a plane none of us could initially recognize take off and ascend into the sky.  It was a huge plane with what seemed like an unusually large wingspan.  It wasn't long before we concluded that it was one of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliners.  They built an entire massive factory here to build the planes and there's usually quite a bit of hoopla when one comes or goes.

Anyway, apparently it's becoming commonplace here already.... But it still looked pretty cool.

I'm scheduled to go to Rochester this weekend.  Since I figure nobody in my family is reading this I'll admit that I'm having second thoughts.  It's a huge hassle logistics-wise, and the weather forecast isn't helping - especially Monday when I'm supposed to fly home.

Anyway - I'd have to say at this point I'm 50-50 on whether to go or delay it until my birthday in February.  We'll see....

Today is the anniversary of my dad's passing.  He died sometime during the night between Dec. 28-29 (although the "official" date is 12/28).  My dad had quite the life, and when he died I don't think any of us really expected it.  I was already spleeping in the spare bedroom at home (I'd been on hormones for well over a year at that point) and didn't find out until I got to work the next morning.  My mom left me a message telling me he had passed away.

We were living in Scottsdale at the time and my wife decided that it would be better if I went to handle all the "stuff" by myself.  She couldn't bring herself to pretend that we were close anymore knowing what she knew about what was happening in my life.  So I flew to Rochester on Jan. 2, alone, for some of the last ritualistic events of David's life.  My dad's memorial service was the last time I wore a suit and tie.  It was the last time my family would see me before they, too, learned about what was happening.  And, in a very real sense, the person who left after just a few chilly days in Rochester was significantly different than the person who arrived.

I could go into all kinds of details, but suffice it to say that considering his passing and reflecting on the meaning of Life provided renewed impetus to "be" at a time when it was much needed. 

My dad wrote a book titled Life Itself.  A paragraph from one of the reviews on Amazon:

Robert Rosen asks the question: what is life?, and answers the question precisely after 10 chapters. His method of answering the question is ground breaking. In trying to answer the question of, What is Life? he first must explore what life is not. In that process of trying to answer the question about life, he had discovered something *very* important about science and mathematics: there are some unnecessary limitations placed them, currently.

I never gave my dad's work much thought, and it was only after his death that I came to recognize the connection to much of what he studied and wrote about and its implications in my own day-to-day existence.  It took me that long to realize that the limitations he was exploring with regards to the relationship between science/match and Life are matched or exceeded by limitations that each of us place on life itself by not living it, or not realizing that we can, or by allowing ourselves to become trapped by fear, or circumstance.

Eventually we all run out of tomorrows.  My dad lived his last tomorrow 12 years ago today and eventually I will reach that same point in my own life.  There is no denying that.  All I can do is to make the most of the ever-shortening time between now and then.  And that's what I'm doing.

Back to the window in my 5th floor office.  It's a little windown on the world, a little vantage point up above.  And so, too, is what today represents to me.  It provides an opportunity to gain a new perspective, or at least reminds me of things I generally know but sometimes forget. 

I am going to train with a local Mixed Martial Arts (Krav Maga) instructor after work today.  Then - I'll go out for a nice dinner that will involve a glass of good Scotch.  That's what my dad would have done.  And I'm only too happy to follow suit.  :)

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