Super Thoughts

Posted: February 7, 2010 in Family and Friends

I hope my friend, DeJon, doesn’t mind me swiping his personal note and delivering it to a wider audience, but on this Super Sunday, I think it is just great. Well, I think it is just great on any day. Listen to the wisdom underlying his words, and enjoy.

DeJon Redd: Confession: What Super Bowl XLIV Means To Me

I’ve been thinking about things that I find beautiful, moving. I’ve dealt with varying degrees of depression over the last few years. Some days that stifling power is more griping than others, and while some may find that a sad admission, I do not.

Dealing with this thorn of depression has forced me to re-evaluate. Before it was possible to find motivation from things I now find impotent and vapid. For too long, perhaps for the better part of most of the last three or four years, I woke up with a dread that was more than the average laziness I’ve always had to push against. I finally realized that the dread and fog that met me every morning, that pushed me deeper into the mattress… that wasn’t mere laziness alone. It was a powerful and unhealthy force.

I knew that giving in to it would lead to a most unfortunate end state. Giving in to that paralyzing sense of loathing would not lead me to any of my goals. I knew that giving in to that demotivating force would guarantee I would never realize any of my hopes. But the little bit I was able to fight back allowed me to fight back a little more the next morning. Don’t get me wrong, I still fight it. My effort is often really pathetic.

All of this lead me to a wonderful discovery. There are things out there that make the getting up… (the living really) worth it. For the off chance I might stumble across things of indescribable beauty that is why I get up. That’s what makes life worth living for me. I love those moments.

– The time Clay Johnson let me listen to The Black Crowes album, “Amorica.” Or when Clay Utley played Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” on vinyl.

– Stumbling through hours of monotonous and compulsory reading, and being blindsided by Brandeis concurring opinion in “Whitney v. California.”

– The feeling that smacked me in the face when I was wandering aimlessly through the National Gallery of Art and saw John Singleton Copley’s “Watson and the Shark.”

– Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly uninspired, I try to sit and think about that plastic bag I saw flying through the sky in “American Beauty,” and I feel more connected, less disjointed, less broken.

In the moment before I found those epiphany-inducing things, I didn’t have the slightest hint of what was coming. I was caught completely off guard, and just before I discovered those things I was very likely completely absorbed in the monotony of how boring everything tends to be. But those things struck me. Every one of those times I had that flash of white in my eyes. The same flash I get when I get unexpectedly hit in the head really hard.

Now that list of things, music, movies, art, or a legal opinion, those things generally are not of great import. But for me, these particular things represent the very best that life has to offer. For me they are the result of hard work, sound thinking. The makers of these products had to plumb the murky depths containing difficult questions. And these artists and thinkers stared down these hard questions, and produced things that have inspired me greatly.

For better or worse, things that good don’t exist in abundance.

What is all of this about? Well, the Saints are in the Super Bowl. And for the non-sports fan, those not invested in Louisiana or New Orleans, I would bet the annual Super Bowl hype is as ubiquitous, over-done, and annoying as any other year.

But for me it’s not. For me, a Saints Super Bowl matters… deeply. I hope that tomorrow’s game is one of surprising beauty, and the Saints players and coaches represent the city well, and, of course, I hope they get to win. This whole season has been completely unexpected. I always hope the Saints will be good, but that hope has never paid off like this before. Tomorrow it may pay off in watching men I respect a lot celebrate being the best American Football team on the planet.

That would be quite beautiful, and quite unexpected. And I’m finally not too embarrassed to admit that’s the kind of stuff for which I live.

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