I wonder if I am losing the capacity for wonder? I know, the question appears to answer itself.
Life often presents as one massive scavenger hunt for achievements, experiences, knowledge, possessions, and relationships, but I am pretty sure that’s a fool’s game that pays out in colorful erasers at a Chuck E. Cheese. Even if there is a grand prize for the most tickets, I get the impression that when all is said and done those cashing in aren’t that interested.
The problem is that the Life Acquisition Train disembarks in a lonely neighborhood without many obvious options for alternative travel. But at least wandering the streets provides some quality time to think.
My latest thought is that childhood is for dreaming and adulthood is for chasing, but there just may be a mysterious third act of life for something else. I’m not there just yet, but chasing grows less and less interesting all the time. And I hear the third act calling.
Maybe the third act is meant to point back to the first and recover that childlike imagination but with a new perspective? Maybe. So far I just can’t be sure. But I know that I want to find it.
I sometimes worry that I am losing my capacity for wonder, but on good days I consider that maybe I am just finally shedding the first kind.
Yet I don’t want to give up on the one without locating the other, so I keep walking the nameless streets with Bono in my head because there remains an elusive something to look for.
My wife and I attended the U2 concert at the Rose Bowl last Saturday evening. We arrived early to beat the crowd and got a little turned around which, appropriately, sent us down a street that had no name. Thankfully, with an assist from the Waze app, we did eventually find the parking lot that we were looking for (which was good because my wife was going to get there with or without me). Thank you. I’m here all week.
How to describe the concert? Well, “predictably amazing” is a contradiction in terms, but that is it. The hard, powerful music. The massive stadium crowd singing in unison at full voice. The shared high school memories with thousands of my newest and similarly-aged (and aging) friends. The truly spectacular visual technology. The pleas for social justice. And Bono stalking the stage as a pastor directing the liturgy.
It was quite the experience.
But the unexpected arrived in Section 17 near the end of the Lumineers’ opening set. Earlier, my wife, who may be the most observant human being on Planet Earth, noticed a gentleman wearing a flannel shirt and sporting a beanie casually walking along the stadium walkway below us. Like thousands of others. Except that he looked exactly like The Edge.
Well, that was weird, but maybe it wasn’t so ridiculous at a U2 concert, and the dude didn’t seem to attract any attention. But some time later we noticed a commotion about twenty rows behind us, and it was THAT GUY with about a zillion people trying to take a picture with him. It’s him! No, it isn’t. Yes, it is! Is it? My logical self concluded that it could not be The Edge since it was near the end of the Lumineers’ set; however, since there turned out to be enough time between the opening act and the main event to grow vegetables, my logic fell apart. No one officially settled the debate, but my wife is convinced that it had to be him. Look at the picture and decide for yourself.
Either way, how cool is it for someone who tens of thousands of people paid small fortunes in time and money to see in action to just go out with a drink and wander around the crowd? On the other hand, how weird is it that tens of thousands of people pay small fortunes in time and money to see someone and not know for sure if that person actually sat down next to them?
It is easy to think that you know someone from afar. It is far more difficult to be sure up close and in person.
We humans surely move in mysterious ways.