The Way of the Superior Man and Whatnot
If there’s one thing Vancouver does right, it’s make a good eggs benny. I was having eggs benny with my good friend and famous architect Jonathon Stembridge-Rickenbacker at one of our favorite cafes, a friendly place in Little India. Actually, I think the staff were all Filipino, so we might have been a bit north in Little Philippines. Although, that’s probably too far north so it was probably more like Little Poland. Suffice to say, Vancouver’s ethnic geographies do not model world geographies. Back in Texas we had a saying: “Vancouver’s ethnic geographies do not model world geographies.” Or, at least, that’s the saying I try to get going whenever I go back to visit the family ranch. It hasn’t really caught on there, so maybe I should put a “ya’ll” on the end. Let’s try it: “Vancouver’s ethnic geographies do not model world geographies, ya’ll.” That’s much better.
Anyway, as usual, my conversations with Jon covered a wide landscape, as varied as Vancouver’s ethnic populations. You see, whenever something’s bothering me, Jon usually has more than a few good thoughts about it. If he wasn’t already a successful architect, I might suggest that he jump into the world of fake doctoring. He might not become The Most Famous Fake Doctor Of Our Time, but I think he’d do well.
As it happens, I’d had a fight with Midgie, and I was still pretty angry about it. I avoided talking about it for a while, but it was still on my mind, so before I moved to my second benny I mentioned it to him.
Jon thought about it for a moment, then said, “Have you tried yoga?”
“Well, no,” I said, “but I’m not a 35-year-old soccer mom.”
Jon laughed, and said, “It’s not just for moms looking to regain their youthful shape. It has a great benefit for men, perhaps especially for men.”
I frowned at him. “Why especially for men?” I asked him.
“Because, as you probably know, movement can be essential for men, to work through emotions faster.”
“I do know that,” I said. “It’s my business to know these things.”
“Right,” said Jon. “But some types of movement, like running at the gym or playing basketball, don’t allow the kind of space within where those emotions can actually surface. I mean, they still will to a small degree, but I find that the best tools for getting something like anger out of your system is an activity that is both physical and meditative.”
Now, folks, considering the great shape that Jon is in, both physically and emotionally, his suggestion did get me to pondering.
“Do you remember Forrest Gump?” Jon added suddenly.
“Of course,” I said. “Best movie of 1994.”
“Well, don’t forget,” said Jon, “Speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock came out in 1994.”
“Oh right,” I said. “I retract my statement.”
“Anyway, remember how Forrest Gump decides to just start running one day, and then just keeps running for three or four years?” said Jon.
“Of course,” I said.
“Well, that happens right after Jenny leaves him. He finally gets the love of his life, and she leaves in the middle of the night, and he’s devastated. Running across the country allowed him to process what he was feeling, rather than just sit and stew in it. You see, Forrest Gump is about a man who carries deep wisdom just by being who he is, but doesn’t have the self-awareness to know his own value. He just does what his instincts tell him to do, which would be the right answer for any of us. In a way, Forrest Gump is someone who is gifted with the ability to get out of his own way.”
I listened and thought about Jon’s words while I finished off my breakfast. “You know,” I said, “True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis came out in 1994.”
“That’s right!” said Jon. “Remember when the terrorist gets caught on the missile attached to the Harrier jet that Arnold is flying, and then he fires the missile at the terrorist helicopter?”
“How could I?” I said. “I think Arnold showed all men how adventurous we are capable of being, in ways the women in our lives may not even suspect.”
Jon smiled. “I’ll drink to that!” he said, and we clinked our latte mugs together.
In that moment, I forgot all about my anger, so fortunately I may not have to go to a yoga class after all. But, I thought it might be some good information for some men, so why not share it with you? After all, there’s no such thing as too good of a man, although, admittedly, I come dangerously close.
Just My Thoughts,