On Sundays, we go to the Linden Diner for brekkies (no – not brunch; we are there far too early for it to be considered brunch, and there is no cantaloupe garnish on the plate). As is our custom, we take certain sections of the Sunday paper with us. I read the Magazine, the Arts section, and the “Ideas” section. In that order, always.
Yesterday I drank my diner coffee, one eyebrow raised, lips pursed about to deliver the snark, as I read this article, an interview with an scholar/sociologist who has written a book suggesting that Van Halen are misunderstood and under-appreciated Zen philosophers.
Sort of. The author doesn’t go quite as far as to say that David Lee Roth was some kind of deep thinker, but asserts that he was “an adherent of Zen philosophy.”
The idea of Diamond Dave as a lion-maned, hairy-chested, spandex-clad Zen Master is sort of ridiculous on paper, but is it totally unfounded?
Zen teaches us to live in the present moment, or as Roth teaches us in “Runnin’ With The Devil,” to live our lives “like there’s no tomorrow,” although he later posits that the “simple life ain’t so simple.”
Still, one “might as well jump.” “Reach down between my legs n’ ease the seat back,” and search for satori.
I withheld the snark yesterday in the Linden Diner, and went home to reflect on what I had read, helped along with Zen Master Roth’s isolated vocal track from “Runnin’ With The Devil,” which my friend Jon had sent me many years ago when I was in the midst of heartbreak. “See if this doesn’t bring you some moment of joy in all of this,” he instructed me. Because Jon and I have been friends since we were teenagers, I grokked that he perhaps understood me better than I did myself, so I listened. And, lo, I was clean amazed and did laugh for the first time in many days. All these years later, it’s still my go-to for joy.
Woooo! WOOOOOO! Indeed.