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Friday, April 22, 2011

Leap of Faith: From Persnickity E-mails to 14,000 feet

I’ve been going through one of those times in life when your scope broadens and/or deepens, with or without your consent, and you have to reassess your part in What It’s All About.

Pre-Photoshop Coach, ca. 1970

Post-chaw Coach

To help me reassess What It’s All About, I regularly play back a vintage voice mail featuring the line “What it’s all about” as interpreted by Coach Dave Fagg ’58, retired now from the Davidson Athletic Foundation. Some years back, Coach responded to a nitpicky editorial e-mail I had sent to the whole College Relations division in which I detailed—perhaps it was in a curmudgeonly fashion, I do not recall—how to create a backward apostrophe before a class year designation, e.g., John Syme ’85. I just hate when that apostrophe is pointed the wrong direction. Just. Hate it. So anyway, when I am feeling a little too blindered down into such overblown content production and management issues emanating from the square glowing idjit box on my desk, I play Coach’s voice mail. Within 42 seconds, I am laughing aloud. It is wise, Coach’s inimitable utterances remind me, to keep one’s sense of the ridiculous well-honed.

"Geronimoooo!..." Click for VIDEO.

Recently I also have come to realize that, in addition to rationing the time I spend in front of the ’puter, I need to flat bust out of some of my other routines now and then, too. So I went skydiving. It was a Groupon. I got two buddies to commit, and we just went, no worries, no fear. I did have a couple of jumping-from-great-height dreams in the weeks leading up to the actual jump. Once, I dreamt that Dodger had scrambled down the steep bank of a high cliff to a creek, in pursuit of some object of his doggy desire, but he still had his leash on when he got to the actual desire-fulfillment part in the creek, got tangled up and was pulled under. (Ain’t that the way, with desire?) So I jumped into mid-air, floated down, saved him, and got the hell out of there. The other dream was a cartoon starring me as Wyle E. Coyote. Clear enough.

Other than that, I was never really scared of the specter of skydiving, not really. What? No, really! In the end (literally and figuratively) I did tighten up a tad with a hearty feeling of “WTF???!!!!” just as I started to scoot and be scooted past the point of no return toward the cold, open maw of sky at the back of the plane. But overall—get it, overall?— it was great good fun, and I want to go again without a video camera in my face.

Just the leap, just the faith. What it’s all about.

In the meantime, a shout-out to my College Communications peeps Winnie Newton and Gary Bartholomew for helping me bring the content in this post to life on the square glowing idjit box on my desk, and yours. Cheers!

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