part of the problem

I bought daffodils. So luminous when seen in February in NH. I used to live in Virginia; “Virgeenia”, where spring came MUCH sooner.

And today – one day that it is good weather – I took off in my car : to Boston and back in one fell swoop after the terrible snow storm that just passed and before the next, due tomorrow. Well, I was on the road along with everyone else in the state. It was a parking lot. As I crept along, inching forward bumper to bumper, I thought of my brother ( who still lives in Virginia). Years ago, he was telling me of his plans to drive to the beach on July 4. July 4th?, I asked, incredulously – it being probably the WORST traffic day for the beach all year. He laughed, “Yeah”, he said, “I like to be PART of the problem.” He can always make me laugh.

As I was spending more time than I liked en route today, I thought of that comment and wondered – so what problem would I like to be part of?

What came to mind was an account that I read years ago about a recipient of the MacArthur grant: Sam Maloof, a woodworker. He is the only craftsman – even til now – who has won the award. (The MacArthur Grant is given to geniuses, and people are chosen by a secret group, so the award of $100k comes as a surprise). I was struck by how unaffected he was – that his work was so central that his life went on, unchanged. He already had what mattered most.

That level of contentment. That level of loving one’s art. Can we call that a problem? A good problem, why not? I want that one. I want to share that one with everyone. We can all be part of the problem.