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Tomorrow is a Sabbath Day

When I told a co-worker that I was going to see Ozzy play a reunion tour with Black Sabbath, he made a comment about Ozzy not having much left in his brain that hadn’t been fried by excessive drug use-- had I seen The Osbournes?  And I said something to the effect of: A person is more than their cognitive ability.

I’m not a Sabbath fan, I went as a favor to my husband, and because I was curious to see what Sabbath was like.  And most of it was about what I expected.  Four guys on stage playing rock songs, with some lights and no choreography.  Sure, they played War Pigs, Iron Man, and Paranoid.    Ozzy’s voice was weaker than it probably was when he was younger, but not completely shot.  We got what we paid for.

But seeing Ozzy, he made me so happy and left me so inspired.  Here he is, an old man, but still up there, making his art, performing for us, and doing what he clearly loves.  It was less about how he sang the songs and more about his spirit of gratitude and love for his work.  It was the way he talked to us between the songs, it was the way he clearly loved his bandmates, it was the way he allowed himself to be himself for us- at times silly, and always a performer.  He ran across the stage- and watching this moved me, because it was as if I was watching an old dog.  I say this in the best possible way- the way you have an old dog, for 14 years, and the dog is filled with such loyalty and love for you that even though he has arthritis and is deaf and full of lumps he still runs (slowly) to you because this giant love is greater than the pain.  And that is what I saw in Ozzy.  He is giving us everything that he has to give.  He is being his whole self for us and with us, and he is filled with gratitude and love.

He told us: Thank you for my life.

And my response is: Yes, Ozzy, Thank YOU, for my life.  For making your art, for being all in, and for sharing the essence of your humanity with us.

So I left the Sabbath concert feeling inspired, feeling full of joy and hope, feeling excited to make art.  Because Ozzy is an artist, and a hero, and a human full of gratitude.  

Moderation

From The Road to Character by David Brooks.  (Amazon Link)

This excerpt starts around page 69:

Moderation is a generally misunderstood virtue.  It is important to start by saying what it is not.  Moderation is not just finding the mid-point between two opposing poles and opportunistically planting yourself there.  Neither is moderation bland equanimity.  It’s not just having a temperate disposition that doesn’t contain rival passions or completing ideas.

On the contrary, moderation is based on an awareness of the inevitability of conflict.  If you think that the world can fit neatly together, then you don’t need to be moderate.  If you think all your personal qualities can be brought together into simple harmony, you don’t need to hold back, you can just go whole hog for self-actualization and growth.  If you think all moral values point in the same direction, or all political goals can be realized all at once by a straightforward march along one course, you don’t need to be moderate, either.  You can just head in the direction of truth as quickly as possible.

Moderation is based on the idea that things do not fit neatly together.

There are never-ending tensions that pit equality against achievement, centralization against decentralization, order and community against liberty and individualism.  The moderate doesn’t try to solve these arguments.  There are no ultimate solutions.  The moderate can only hope to achieve a balance that is consistent with the needs of the moment.