My limited time on the planet

| March 11, 2012 | 2 Replies

It wasn’t that long ago that I learned that I have a terminal condition and that I will only be around for a limited time. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to savor every moment, and to work hard to keep my chin up and avoid being maudlin. In that context, today was a good day.

Given my quickly dwindling time here on planet Earth, I have been keeping a look-out for time saving devices. I finally took the plunge and bought an iPad2 (I wasn’t convinced that the brand new version offered anything I needed).  The iPad 2 has an excellent screen and lots of potential uses for me at work and at home (I’m already using an app called Note Taker, which allows me to use a stylus to scribble on pdfs on the fly.  I uploaded the Kindle app, and I’m delight to say that I have a new tool for reading and reviewing books. The Kindle offers a function for capturing passages of books as “notes,” and then accessing those notes as a batch. I loaded up quite a few other apps that will help me at work, including Drop Box and Jump.  Twenty years ago, I wanted to be on the cusp of technology.  These days, I’m thrilled to be one step behind, because time seems to be one of my most precious commodities.  I’ll let others screw with the newest and greatest, while I sneak in behind the commotion and enjoy things that have been out long enough that most of the bugs are worked out.

I’m still exploring the iPad and the Kindle, but I think this will be a great way to absorb and review books. Last night I foolishly bought a stylus at Target for $20, when I could have bought a 3-pack on line for $10.   You’ve got to watch out for those accessories.   Then again, I can’t take it with me . . .

Today, I also bought scratch-off $1 lottery tickets for each of my two daughters (they are 11 and 13).   This started about a year ago, when I bought them each a ticket “to show you that lottery ticket sales are a scam and a waste of money.”  Well, as you can guess, the girls both received winning tickets that first time ($10 and $2).  I cashed in their winnings and bought them each other ticket, which turned out to be another set of winners.   The good luck went on for about 7 times, with a winner showing up in at least one of the two tickets most of the time (sometimes the winner was that they got a new ticket).  Today, however, it was different.  Finally they both lost, which means I have a great excuse to stop buying lottery tickets for my daughters and I might now be able to keep them from being gamble-holics.

For someone who hears the footseps of the Grim Reaper, there is no better distraction than the arts. Tonight, my wife and I went to the Grand Center area, to the Pulitzer Foundation For the Arts, a St. Louis museum, where we viewed “Reflections of Buddha,” 22 images of the Buddha dating from the 2nd century A.D.   Very peaceful and beautiful, especially in the context of the prayer ceremony the museum offered (led by Buddhist monks) and an outdoor ceremony.   Here’s a bit more about the exhibition, which ended tonight.

Reflections of the Buddha  is the first loan exhibition of Pan-Asian Buddhist art in St. Louis. It presents over twenty masterpieces from seven important American collections. The artworks represent a wide swath of Buddhist cultures that date from as early as the second century CE. Primarily sculptures, these works come from Afghanistan, China, Korea, India, Japan, Nepal, Mongolia, and Tibet. The aim of this exhibition is to inspire the inquisitive visitor to delve deeper into the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, as well as the ideas and artistic traditions that evolved to produce these superb works of art.

photo by Erich Vieth

From the Pulitzer Foundation, we walked one block east to the Sheldon Concert hall to see “Inner Circle,” the premier of Peter Martin’s new band, featuring (in addition to Peter on the piano), Vivian Sessoms on vocals, Karriem Riggins on drums, and Robert Hurst on bass.  Extraordinary jazz only three miles from our house in the City of St. Louis.  I’ll share a bit of tonight’s music, given that Peter invited the audience to take video and share it.

That was a great way to end a great day, especially given that I don’t expect to be around more than 3, 4, or maybe 5 more decades . . .

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Category: Art, Meaning of Life, music

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jim Razinha says:

    Very nice piece, Erich.

    A friend told me he reads faster and retains more when using his Kindle. I feel the same when using my iPad for ebooks…even with the wonderful crutch of instant highlighting and note summaries. My wife’s recent immersion in the Dallas art scene brings me a host of stimuli new and different to me. DJing homeschooled teen dances the past year exposes me to artists my music-bigot self would never normally listen to (I still refuse Coldplay requests, though). So much to do, so much to learn…I don’t often find myself worrying about aging, but occasionally, I do pause and ask, “I’m 50? When I’d that happen?” that’s when I double the efforts to absorb more…but the effect doesn’t, and needn’t, last long.

    Again…nice piece.

  2. Ben says:

    Live the Life

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