Thursday, February 9, 2012

Roots and Branches

'Tis the Irish in me I suppose that is to blame for it but I realize that I do not spend a great deal of time - either in this space or in my day-to-day - dwelling on the positive. As much as I love Monty Python's Life of Brian (it featured one of all-time favorite tage lines for a movie, "If you never see another movie, then you'll never see Monty Python's Life of Brian")I am constrained to confess that I have not really adopted its theme song as my own. I do enjoy whistling though. I just enjoy Yeats more, "Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy."

There certainly is enough mindless and depressing bullshit to slog through on a daily basis to keep Yeats in verse in perpetuity. Occasionally, however, it is nice to step back and heed the advice of Ferris Beuller*(*-the iconic character from the 1980's cinematic classic bearing his name and NOT the paunchy, middle-aged Honda pitchman foisted upon us during the Super Bowl.)

David Robinson was a standout student-athlete at the United States Naval Academy in the latter half of the 1980's, an Olympian, a member of NBA Championship-winning teams in San Antonio and a Hall-of-Famer. By all accounts, Robinson is a better person than he was a basketball player, which was no mean feat. The NBA went so far as to rename the trophy it awards annually for outstanding charitable efforts for Robinson. The only thing I ever had named in my honor was....well, was me.

The story that I stumbled across the other afternoon featured "The Admiral" but its star was his 16-year-old son, Corey. I came away with the impression after reading about Corey that while he is still a little shorter than his father, he is every inch his father's son. He is only 16 so one hopes that much of his life's narrative remains to be written. A lot lies ahead of him, including one presumes more than one thing that shall challenge him and perhaps scare him at least a little. Life teaches us that one knows better where one is going when one never loses sight of from where one has come. I came away from reading about Corey Robinson and his dad with a good feeling about the young man's internal GPS.

It should not surprise I suppose. If you cannot rely upon an old Navy man to teach you basic navigation skills, then to whom can you turn?


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