Thursday night when I got home late in the evening, I just had to smile to myself and say “that was a mighty fine day.”
It started out with an informal interview for a job I’m actually pretty excited about. The job hasn’t yet been posted, but the person I would be replacing is really excited that I want the job and wanted to introduce me personally to her boss so we can get a chance to chat before the whole formal process begins. There was a lot of enthusiasm on all sides – me about the job, and potential-new-boss about me. When I left she said she was going to call me the moment the job posted so we can get the ball rolling.
I’m excited, but I’m cautious. I’m a strong candidate, but since I’ll be asking for the upper end of the pay scale and the person controlling the purse strings is known to be very tight, it’s not a done deal. She may opt to make do with a Ford, which would certainly get the job done, rather than spend the money on a Mercedes that not only will get the job done, but will do so with style and class. Still, it felt good to have somebody blown away by my skills and experience, and what I can bring to the job. Even if this process goes no further than this, my confidence has increased and perhaps I can overcome my inertia and fear of looking for new job.
On the way home, I opted to go back home taking the Golden Gate Bridge, rather than the more utilitarian Bay Bridge. Every time I go over the Golden Gate Bridge I’m like a kid. I look up at the soaring towers, and then to my right to see the City and Alcatraz and up ahead to the always green Marin Headlands. This is why I live in the Bay Area – there is such easy access to both natural and man-made splendor and beauty.
Later that afternoon I head over to my friend Elaine’s house for a reunion of some of my old NKT buddies. Elaine has a beautiful house in the Berkeley Hills with such an amazing view. It’s what I would call a three bridge view – the Bay, Golden and San Rafael bridges. Some of these friends I see somewhat often, for others it’s been almost a year. Only one of them is still involved with the NKT on a regular basis. But, our friendships have moved beyond that now.
We had a light dinner of the famous Cheese Board pizza (who knew peach and arugula would make such tasty toppings?), some salad, and finish with a fresh organic fruit salad. Simple, but perfect for a hot August evening. As soon we had finished eating, Obama’s speech was just about to start. We gathered around the small TV in their study and tried to put aside our well-conditioned cynicism about politicians. Mostly we watched in silence without much commentary. And as the speech started to wind down, Elaine’s husband Ivan pulled up the blinds to reveal a stunning sunset.
“Do we dare hope?” one friend asked as Obama’s inspirational speech ended. Sure. Maybe. Well, OK. Maybe things can change. Just maybe. So, like with my potential job, I’m excited, but cautious.
We then left and headed down to catch the dharma talk at the Thursday night Insight Meditation class. It was a small crowd, compared to other nights. Probably Obama’s speech and the heat kept people at home. Our timing was great though. We walked in right at the break after the meditation, but before the dharma talk. The topic was the fourth chapter of Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. Sitting with these friends, my former NKT classmates, listening to commentary on the very book that we were studying together when our center fell apart, made it feel like we had come full circle.
Yup, it was a very good day, indeed.