Feeling Fine and Having Fun (continued)

By Jack Graves

Later, in the supermarket, happening to pick up a strawberry smoothie jar, I saw that one of its ingredients was pantothenic acid. “Pantothenic acid!” I said. “I think I’ve solved the crossword!”

“See, you do have ambition — you’re positively driven.”

“By you, most of the time, and now I’m burning with the ambition that you drive me home so I can see if it fits.”

Well, “pantothenic” was too long, nor was it right, though I learned it had something to do with a growth vitamin in the B group, as is found in yeast and molasses — reminders that one should lighten one’s spirits and go with the flow. I’d made an excellent error, then: You can’t always get what you waaant, but sometimes you find just what you knead. . . .

So, what have I learned by 75? Nothing, really, other than what I knew at 8 when, in sending postcards home from Camp Abnaki on the island of North Hero in Lake Champlain (a most beautiful camp, by the way), I habitually signed off with “Hope you’re feeling fine and having fun.” I hope you’re feeling fine and having fun. All of you.

Is that too much to hope for? Even so, it is a worthy ambition, it is mine; it is my goal, if you will.

All that you seek is within you, not outside you, my Zen books seem to say. Look no further. It’s always been there.

As I’ve said, I may never quite get it, it may always remain a puzzle, but there is serenity there, and the secret to world peace.

Reprinted by permission from The East Hampton Star, February 18, 2015

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