Oh, Pooh. I got this book from a coworker at my first record store (Turtle's). There were 5 of us and the person closest to my age ended up having a surprisingly - I say "surprisingly" because she was flighty and I was serious and responsible - strong influence on me. She was my age but still in college (5 year plan) and she was the first Deadhead I met. She welcomed me into her circle of friends willingly and quickly, which I needed b/c most of my high school and college friends had scattered. Because of Lee I began to explore the world of music (I was a pretty hardcore Jazzer and Blueshead at that time) and because of Lee I started to really enjoy the world around (and this was pre-pot smoking, that was still a year or so away). She always seemed to have a good time and just exuded this joie de'vivre that I hadn't seen in anyone else I knew.
The Tao of Pooh makes an attempt at explaining Buddhism, particularly Zen Buddhism, which I think is a far more esoteric form. Although in hindsight I don't think the ideas were a stretch for me, I did learn a few things:
- Shit happens
- You have to have the bad to experience the good
- When things happen, especially the bad things, it's better to let them happen in their due course than to try to bend them to your will.
So, with that in mind and that in my mind as to what Buddhism was I continued down my path of life, not forcing much, if anything, to happen and it seemed to work. I did have some trouble using this "non-action" technique to pick up women but I wasn't that good at picking up women anyway.
I lived by this principal of when it was time for something to happen it would for many years. It proved itself when I decided to move back to Nashville from Baton Rouge in 94 or 95. I moved back in my house for a month and during that month as stressful as it was for my Dad, stepmom and myself I do believe that it was this month that changed the relationship I had with my father. We shared. We had never shared. Even when my Mom died in 84, we had never shared. He told me some trouble he was having both physical and marital. He told me stories about his life and I asked questions. Unfortunately not enough questions and then in 96 he died. I was so grateful that I'd come home when I came home. I was grateful that he and I got to really be father and son. I was devastated that I had no parents. I missed my Dad something fierce. I went to the cemetery several times that summer. Then the insurance money came in and I bought a computer and replaced some taping gear that had been stolen. So in the mid-90s, even though my father died, it seemed like things fell into place just as Buddhism said they would.