It’s Thursday, which seems like a good day to share some things I’ve recently enjoyed, learned from, or appreciated.
- Al Nixon. Courtesy of the Good News section in The Week, I came across Al’s story. For several years now, Al has watched the sunrise at a park overlooking Tampa Bay. He has become such a fixture that people have grown to depend on his presence, and even his encouragement. By showing up everyday, Al has gotten to know other folks – and people have started confiding in him. They tell him about personal stuff – their finances, their children, their own childhood. “Mostly people just want to be heard,” Al says. “I’ve heard a thousand stories. I don’t consider myself all that smart, or debonair, but I’m a good listener.”
Show up, listen, be an encouragement. Al might be on to something….
- Bully Barbeque. I recently discovered this place in Buckner, Kentucky, directly across the street from Oldham County High School. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a great deal. I got a burger today for $2.50. For $2 more I could have had fries, which are huge, potato-cut wedges. Good food, great prices. But inflation is reaching Buckner, sadly. I noticed a sign today that announced that prices go up on June 1st. So, if you’re anywhere near Buckner this holiday weekend, grab some Bully at bargain prices.
- Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy. Bob turned 80 this week — sheesh, he’s almost as old as my dad! — but he keeps putting out music and plotting his own course. There’s something that stays with me from the words that come out of his gravelly pipes. His album Oh Mercy came out as I was in college – and when I was expanding my musical horizons. Perhaps that is why it’s songs have stuck with me:
Broken bodies, broken bones
Broken voices on broken phones
Take a deep breath, feel like you’re choking
Everything is broken
But the brokenness isn’t just all around us. It’s also in us, too. And even though Dylan may not be the most pleasant sort, at least back in the 80s he was able to ask: “What Good Am I?”
What good am I if I know and don’t do,
If I see and don’t say, if I look right through you,
If I turn a deaf ear to the thunderin’ sky,
What good am I?
What good am I while you softly weep
And I hear in my head what you say in your sleep,
And I freeze in the moment like the rest who don’t try,
What good am I?
No matter your thoughts on Dylan, it’s a question I’ve got to ask – making it one of my three recommendations this Thursday.