In the one long conversation I ever had with him, a wise man once asked me what my ideal job was. I’d never really considered the question in precisely that simple a way; any time I’d tried before, the chorus of roadblocks would drown out the vision before it could even form. So he asked me, and I thought about it, and pushed aside doubts and realism and drafted a fantasy version of how I’d like to spend my days. I’ve kept it, and kept it in mind. And although some of the roadblocks are real, in that I need to feed people and I enjoy the furor of my job, there are elements in that dream vision that I have chased in the two years since he and I spoke. One of those, for instance, was starting a blog.
This weekend a family friend – one of my wife’s contemporaries – passed away too young and with too much yet to do. We drove three hours to the funeral, returning through fog, rain and traffic with children in tow, arriving exhausted and burdened with sadness that clung to us all. I picked up the paper on the front step and brought it in, opened it and was further saddened to read of the passing of that wise man. In a very real way, Mike Levine taught me to dream a little.
May they both rest in peace. I’ll try not to waste the lesson.