"You just got home from a three-day Zen sesshin three hours ago and now you're drinking a beer and watching NASCAR. Chock it up to the multi-faceted complex world of Dave!" said Sukie.
Well, it wasn't just any beer; it was a Sebago Brewing Company Frye's Leap IPA. And it wasn't just any NASCAR race; it was the Aaron's 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama (Confederate flag, anyone?). And it certainly wasn't just any finish; on the last lap, Carl Edward's 99 car went airborne and flipped into the catch fence, crashing back down onto the frontstretch in a flaming wreck. Edwards extricated himself from the flames and actually ran across the finish line. Rookie Brad Kaselowski went on to win the race with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. right on his bumper. The video of the final lap has become a top YouTube pick.
Several years ago, when I confessed to my best friend that I was a NASCAR fan, he very nearly disowned me. He was so disgusted that he couldn't even respond. My co-workers are mystified, if not appalled. My wife has learned to tolerate my occasional Sunday afternoon race viewing. My daughters shrug their shoulders and say "whatever." My dog falls asleep on the living room rug.
I've even been to a few races. And, yes, I've been to the spring race at Talladega with my brother, nephew, and another friend. (Oh, by the way, he's the same friend that I was a Civil War reenactor with for ten years. But I'll save that one for another post...). I've been to the August race at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. And I've driven over to the New Hampshire International Speedway for the mid-summer event.
What a minute, you may be wondering, aren't you the Episcopal priest Zen student hospice chaplain contemplative guy? What's up with the NASCAR thing?
Isn't there a contradiction here somewhere? You bet. Chock it up to the many selves of the self that is no-self. The bottom line is that I don't worry about it much. Life is too short.
In those immortal words of Darrell Waltrip: Boggity, boggity, boggity! Let's go racing, boys!