In spite of the toll the many years of partying took on him, and the goofy albeit endearing personality that he projects, Joe offered a heart-felt insight into the rise and fall, and the eventual reunion of The Eagles, and the profound impact it had on him and his band mates:
“You know, there’s a philosopher who says, ‘As you live your life, it appears to be anarchy and chaos, and random events…non-related events...smashing into each other and causing this situation or that situation, and then…this happens, and it’s overwhelming. And it just looks like what in the world is going on? And later, when you look back at it, it looks like a finely crafted novel. But at the time, it don’t.’”
Although Joe never identified the philosopher referenced in his interview, it's been speculated he was speaking to the essence of Taoism; a philosophical system evolved by a Chinese philosopher (Lao-Tzu) advocating a life of complete simplicity and of non-interference with the course of natural events, in order to attain harmony and a happy existence.
Recently, while the kids have been away at college and things have quieted down, I’ve taken time to reflect back on our version of “it," as reflected upon by Joe Walsh. The chaos and the “random events” that seemed to endlessly smash into each other during the aftermath of my husband’s accident, was less like the energy released from popping open a bottle of Dom Perignon, and more like the explosion that ignited the beginning of time.
In the midst of all the madness, nothing made sense. How could life be so beautiful and satisfying one moment, as was the case up until the moment my husband’s head slammed into the sand, and then suddenly, so harsh and unbearable at another? As I reflect back on not only the past three years, but at the times in my life when I've been put to the test, there appears to be an inevitability that life will eventually smooth itself out. Peace eventually sets in, the madness wanes. And life carries on in harmony, reaping benefits from the events that preceded it, much like the phenomena of a robust and sustained forest.
During its development a forest thrives in its quest to grow and expand. With energy from the enriched soil combined with the elements of sun and rain, seeds become sprouts, sprouts become plants, and small trees grow into big trees. Vines and plants flourish, carpeting the ground at a break-neck speed. Eventually the forest, in all its glory, becomes a mosaic of various colors, shapes, and sizes; a masterpiece of life and vitality. But there comes a time when the resources and space available to keep growth unfettered, is diminished. In a matter of time, the forest begins to suffocate from the overgrown foliage that is choking its existence. Out of nowhere lightning strikes, engulfing the rich timberland into flames. The once bucolic setting would turn into a wasteland filled with embers, and trees stripped of their dignity.
Unselfishly, the trees that had grown into magnificent beasts make the ultimate sacrifice, and in their last breath, release the seeds of new beginnings from the cones that once showcased their beauty. The seeds sprout into a new generation of spectacular greenery that rivals the original. Slowly, as nature would have it, life emerges from the ash. The charred and crippled trees that remain standing, represent the resilience and determination of a species that refuses to vanish. And together with their younger counterparts, each having made contributions to the greatness of the forest, restore the ecosystem back into balance.
Often times we don’t really appreciate what we have until it is lost, or when our failures outweigh our successes. Life will always throw us a curve ball, or test us when we least expect it. Life has its ups and downs. Life just is. What is important is that we get inside the gyroscope and allow life to play itself out around us. Strive to appreciate the moments when times are good, and don’t let the losses and failures define us, but enrich us and those around us instead. Doing so might just make that finely crafted novel a bestseller!