Grant Sutton Acupuncture | Adventures
Grant Sutton LAc offers Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in New Orleans
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http://grantsutton.com/life-is-not-a-mission/

Life Is Not a Mission.

Life is not a Mission. It’s a Journey.

http://grantsutton.com/life-is-not-a-mission/

 

 

It’s the end of August. It’s hot, people are exhausted and irritated. It’s the “Back to School” spirit of September. I am thirty-hmmmmmm years old, and my internal clock is still set to the rhythms of the school year. If only I could buy a scented candle that smells like Trapper Keepers and pencil shavings… I would probably…not buy it. Whatever they made it with couldn’t possibly be good for you. Then again, “Pumpkin Spice” is probably not much better for you. But I digress.

 

September is similar to New Year’s Eve and Ash Wednesday. The air is full of possibilities. I view it as an opportunity to re-evaluate life. What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? What am I avoiding? Guilt over my shortcomings inevitably creeps in, reminding me of all that I’m not doing to improve my life, my relationships, my bank account. I can really let this take me into a neurotic death spiral.

 

This year, and maybe every year going forward, I’m going to read this when I get bummed:

 

Life is Not a Mission

I keep reading about the stress levels rising in the college-bound in our society. There is a new article or study out every day now about how the counseling centers at Universities nationwide are overwhelmed with students with high levels of anxiety and severe and sometimes crippling symptoms of depression. About how our young adults are not prepared to cope with the stressors of the life they have to face.

I keep shouting into the hurricane force winds of College SAT Prep workshop flyers zipping past me , but most days I can’t even hear myself.

Why am I not ensuring that my own teenage daughter has every possible advantage in being successful in life, knowing what I know?  Reading what I’m reading?

Because life is not a mission.

See, you can f*ck up a mission. But you can’t f*ck up an adventure.

Life is an adventure.

Anyone who tries to tell you different is a liar or is trying to sell you something.

Don’t believe me?

If you have to get from Point A to Point B in X amount of time with Y amount of usable resources to start with and Z amount of valuable resources left, otherwise you lose or everybody dies, that’s a mission.

That’s not life.

If you are going to get from Point A (which we know) to Point B (which is yet to be determined) in an unknown amount of time with an unknown amount of usable resources to start with and an unknown amount of valuable resources left, then you die (and so does everybody else):  now that’s an adventure!

That’s life.

I’m not saying you go into an adventure without a good head on your shoulders. A few resources go a long way towards having an interesting and comfortable journey. A few qualities like honesty, curiosity, some humility, and a good work ethic come in handy. Asking for and being willing to receive help are also good.

And no one goes out on an adventure without at least some planning. You don’t go backpacking into the mountains without some preparations. But if you try to put something in your pack for every possible opportunity or disaster, pretty soon your pack will be so heavy you can’t carry it.

My main point is that there’s no one right way to have an adventure. You can’t fail to have an adventure…unless you just don’t go have one.

Go have one. Go have an adventure. Go have a great life.

 

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New Orleans Adventures: St. Roch Cemetery

My friend Miriam (of WaterWorksLA – check it out!) recently took me to one of her favorite spots in New Orleans in her brick-red pickup named Idgie Threadgoode. Wow. It’s a fantastic, quiet spot to rest and regroup. We lit (or tried to light – we forgot matches!) some candles for a few friends and basked in the warm March air.

St. Roch, or St. Rocco, is a Catholic saint and confessor specially invoked against plagues and pestilence. He is also the patron saint of dogs and falsely accused people.

The Greater New Orleans website describes the origin of the cemetery and chapel:

At the height of the yellow fever epidemic of 1867, a German priest named Rev. Peter Leonard Thevis arrived in New Orleans. Faced with the severity of the yellow fever epidemic, he turned to God invoking the intercession of St. Roch, the patron of good health. He promised that if no one in his parish should die from the fever, he would erect a chapel in honor of the Saint. Amazingly, not one member of Holy Trinity died from yellow fever, either in the epidemic of 1867 or 1878.

In thanks, Rev. Thevis’s conviction was to build not only a chapel as a shrine to St. Roch, but also a mortuary chapel in a last resting place for members of his flock. The cemetery was called the Campo Santo (resting place of the dead). Rev. Thevis traveled to Europe to study the architecture and construction of many beautiful shrines and chapels before building the chapel. The chapel, completed in 1876, was considered a beautiful example of Gothic architecture.

People came to the shrine in large numbers to ask St. Roch for help in cases of affliction, disease and deformities. At one time, the celebration of All Saints Day attracted thousands of people to the Shrine seeking guidance and help for themselves and others in distress. A small room on the side of the chapel holds a number of offerings left by visitors to the chapel. The tradition was to leave accouterments of the illness or disability (including, in the past, eyeballs, crutches, and false limbs!) in gratitude for recovery.

Taken by Miriam

Another New Orleans tradition related to St Roch that took place for many years is that on Good Friday young girls made a pilgrimage to St. Roch’s chapel because of a local legend, which promised a husband before the year was out to the maiden who said a prayer and left a small sum at each of nine churches. It was considered doubly lucky if St. Roch’s chapel was the end of the pilgrimage.
The neighborhood got its current name in 1867 with the dedication of the St. Roch shrine and cemetery. St. Roch Chapel and Cemetery are a very important part of the history of the St. Roch neighborhood. At the height of the yellow fever epidemic of 1867, a German priest named Rev. Peter Leonard Thevis arrived in New Orleans. Faced with the severity of the yellow fever epidemic, he turned to God invoking the intercession of St. Roch, the patron of good health.

Taken by Miriam

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