SERIOUS MAN

He’s a serious man. Well serious about things you probably don’t even consider in the day-to-day and by and by.   His seriousness is coupled with the most rootsy sense of humor, mostly about the irony of things. He’s never slow with a laugh either. But on the other hand the serious man believes what he believes, which is mostly unconventional, and does his best to be true to it.   His seriousness is coupled with the most rootsy sense of humor, mostly about the irony of things. He’s never slow with a laugh either. This serious man believes what he believes and does his best to be true to it.

Not a bad way to be right?

Well we all have our quirks. I’m sure you have lots. The serious man told me the other day about how one morning he was walking down Buena Vista Road, hiking stick in tow. It must’ve been 5:30AM, and the horizon was ready to brighten, his favorite time of day. He said he felt that as he put one foot in front of the other he owned the world, that it was his. Everybody else was sleeping, so who’s to say that he didn’t? The serious man could see that the sun would soon start its rise behind Table Mountain. He said he felt excitement and anticipation for the sunrise; how the light would come up on either side of the mountain at first, then peek it’s head over the top, before shining triumphantly into its full splendor.

That’s the way he explained it to me.

The serious man couldn’t understand why anyone would want to miss out on this. He picked up his gait and made way, now at a steady clip. He cut off the macadam and headed into the forest, down Hercules Path. He took in the morning sounds—cicadas and bullfrogs were doing their thing and the wet morning mist was rising up from the mossy forest floor. The dark and the sounds and the moist temperate air bathed his senses.

That’s what he said.

The serious man brought along a knapsack full of gear with him, like usual: some fruit and yogurt for breakfast later, some water to replenish him along the way, Dostoyevsky and Emerson to get sucked into, his favorite blanket that went everywhere with him, his camera, his walking stick, and agenda. He made way down the trail, tip-toed over rocks across the creek, then reached the meadow. He wanted to set up camp and spend time out in the center. He knew that the meadow was filled with blooming spring wildflowers—weeds to some—bluets, columbine and white trillium blanketing the wide meadow floor. The trees and the bushes would be bursting with new spring buds.

It’s quite the sight and experience he told me.

The serious man said he did this quite often and it nourished his soul. He said he got to his destination, a favorite spot of his, and fluffed out his blanket, unzipped his knapsack and pulled out his gear. He wasn’t thinking about much really. A purely sensory experience for him he said; his mind quiet and free. He sat down Indian style on the blanket and took a swig of water. He opened up some Dostoyevsky and shined his penlight on the words. The birds started tentatively tweeting and ready to sing, while the horizon started to glow brighter. He picked up his head and looked off into the vista, eyeballing and sucking in the flat table-top of Table Mountain. He peered above him at the vast night sky, at the stars and vernal moon now retreating. The meadow came alive. The mind of the serious man casually wandered to the daily bustle that is life. He knew this was his true place.

And he smiled.

He looked left and then right, up and then down, ahead and beyond. He took in God’s green earth and then paused.

He wondered how anyone couldn’t take this all seriously.

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