Yesterday on a radio show called The Story they aired a piece about about a guy who has a hard time sleeping. He copes by filling the small hours of the morning with routine. One thing he does is go for a walk to witness the sunrise. This guy is not a poet. He’s not a writer. He’s a projectionist in a movie theater. He sounds like what he is too.
Just a regular Joe. He’s imperfect, like the rest of us. He’s also unfamous, uncelebrated (unless you count being included in a piece that aired on public radio) and probably not someone any random one of us would spend much time thinking about if we passed him on the street. But here’s the thing about the story they made of his sleeplessness, you come to discover he’s a magnificent human being.
For all his ordinary ways; his ongoing struggle with life and it’s challenges and repetitions, he sums up his insomnia and its effect on his life as eloquently and gracefully as any studied philosopher. He says he finds meaning in being there each morning to watch the sun rise. This is his life purpose. He gets up around 3am, eats his breakfast and walks to the park, where he sits and observes the sun rise.
The Meaning of Life
I don’t think any of us can hope to achieve a higher goal than to discover and then fulfill – day in and day out – our own life’s purpose. The eloquence of this gives me pause and deepens just about everything I thought I knew about the potential of uncelebrated people; including myself.
Here’s what this looks like to me this morning:
You can listen to the original story here. Skip over the Anatomy of a Skinhead if you like – the really good stuff is about 20 minutes in. It’s worth it. I guarantee.
The drawing might still be available here.