I’ve long been drawn to the wise old figures in story — “the mentor,” as the archetype goes. The Yoda crawling around Luke Skywalker’s lunchbox. The Gandalf showing up at Frodo’s round door.
I’ve always wanted my own mythical mentor to show up when I least expect it, breaking my tedious present, leading me into a heroic new future. With all the hopping around I’ve done the last decade, you’d think I’d have found my Yoda somewhere along the way.
I moved recently — four whole doors down to another unit in my complex. It wasn’t ideal, but life rarely is. My roommates and I had hoped to move into a house — an eclectic one with a porch, a balcony, a big yard, tucked into the hills over Asheville, perhaps with a long driveway bridge.
We like to dream big.
My grandfather celebrated his ninetieth birthday last month. Family from coast to coast — West to East and North to South — converged upon Langhorne, Pennsylvania for our biggest family celebration since my grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1998. A lot’s happened in the last two decades.
I’ve written previously about the one I call Ahh, and I’m sure I’ll be writing about my grandfather the rest of my life. He traveled the world speaking about God and miracles and smoked the sweetest smelling tobacco pipes on his front porch. That I could come from such a wise and whimsical man astounds me.
I’m the kind of guy who compares anything to everything: my favorite TV show (Survivor) to my least favorite (The Bachelor), the best month (April) to the worst month (November), the greatest year of my life (2012) to the very worst (2006).
I can’t help it. I compare. It’s what I do. It’s why I love rankings and ratings and top-10 lists, the best and the worst. I can’t get enough of the comparison game.