Saturday, September 5, 2009

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This is a post from my other blog (the one that I no longer have; see  below).  I wanted to preserve this one since I feel this book has changed my perception of life in a significant way…

If you've never read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, grab a copy and read it. It's one of the most motorcycleprofound modern books on philosophy I've read yet it's written in such an accessible manner that you can think about the content without getting lost in the words. The book is also a great story about the adventures of a father and his son as they cross the country on a motorcycle. This morning was a very Zen morning for my daughter and I -- we were over an hour early for an appointment downtown, so I decided to take her on a short adventure around town just to see where the streets would take us.

First, we found a quaint little neighborhood with a small electronics shop on the corner. The whole area looked like something straight out of the 1940's. I commented on how peaceful it all looked, and in the midst of taking it in my daughter shouted out something about doughnuts. There was a little doughnut shop on the corner and we could occasionally catch the scent of sweet delight when the wind shifted in our direction. Not wanting her to go to her appointment on an empty stomach (I am a good father, after all) I felt it was only right to stop in and see what they had.

They had every kind of doughnut imaginable. It took us nearly twenty minutes to choose the two we wanted from the dozens of flavors available. I chose a Bavarian cream-filled maple, she chose a small strawberry-infused cake doughnut with cream frosting. Both were quite good when paired with appropriate beverages (chocolate milk for her, coffee for me). As we sat in the shop and took in the sights of the street and smells from the kitchen, she looked at me with eyes that said, "I love you, daddy." I knew immediately that this was a moment of Quality, one of those moments that pass by in a twinkle of an eye but survive as a happy memory for decades. What a wonderful morning... Phaedrus would have been proud.

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