Sunday, March 16, 2008

Steeped in history

After a really lovely weekend including dinner with friends last night and a fun excursion to the Chico Home Show today, we watched the first two episodes of HBO's John Adams tonight.

Strains of "Sit down, John! Sit down, John! For God's sake, John, sit down!" are ringing in my ears -- that was the opening number to the musical 1776 which depicted the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence which I saw first in Boston in 1973 or so.

John Adams takes it much farther, and is just extraordinary. Much has been written in newspapers and magazines about this production, which is based on the book by notable historian David McCullough.

If you are at all interested in history -- if you are a fan of Paul Giamatti or Laura Linney -- you should try to see the episodes sometime this week as they are re-run. There are, I believe, five more episodes with the last one on May 18.

I've got multiple deadlines this week and I probably shouldn't have taken the time that I did -- but I'm glad I did, even if I end up working late the next three nights. (And of course I multi-tasked -- folded clothes while I watched...)

I was dishing out a little bit of ice cream for us while we were watching (fat-free, no added sugar -- makes it slightly less sinful), and suddenly thought about my dad, who loved ice cream and often had it as an evening snack (even though he probably should not have -- he was diabetic for about the last 25+ years of his life, but had a big sweet tooth). He would have enjoyed this production tremendously, as would have my mother. I was hit by a wave of nostalgia and -- grief is too strong a word anymore -- but I missed him. I miss him. I miss her. Tonight it was very present.

I'm very aware anymore of time, how precious it is, how much we take it for granted when we are young, and how the awareness of its swift passage grows each year. It is too easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of do-ing do-ing do-ing, and let slide the importance of be-ing. We all have deadlines, we have activities, ever-present chores. But there is nothing more important than being aware of where we are, of who we are, of what we are choosing to spend our time on, and of being grateful.

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