Funny. Maybe even strange. Still. Memorable.
Watching the National Basketball Association play-offs…we are uncompromising San Antonio Spurs fans…and then reading Jack Nicholson’s quote…sent me to a play-off game in the early 90’s [that’s 19 and not 1890, mind you!] between the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. I had been gifted two seats from a church friend—his family had had those tickets since the beginning of time. As my wont, I was early to the game at the Chicago Stadium, wanting to see the “full enchilada.” Hey, mixing metaphors is writer’s license. [Be patient, this blog will become serious.]
I looked over and saw someone arrive whom, at least from a distance, I admired greatly: Jack Nicholson. He was with a couple of buddies…they had box seats close to mine. I thought to get his autograph would be a good thing.
Went over to him, stood in the row ahead of him and handed him the only “signable” piece of paper I had: a checking account deposit slip. Not sure why that was available—no bank deposit station at the Chicago Stadium. But it was.
He looked at me…with anything but clear vision. Glazed would be apt. “Mr. Nicholson? I admire your acting…in fact next week at the church where I’m minister we’re gonna see ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ Randall Patrick McMurphy’s one of my favorite.”
I handed him the deposit slip…pretty sure he was clueless what it was…which meant for sure I wasn’t asking for money. Even handed him a pen. Told him, “My name is Mark.” He smiled—certainly more polite than personal—signed the deposit slip, then turned to the person standing behind him and handed that patron MY deposit slip and MY pen. I did retrieve both…and found it humorous.
Where did this memory come from? Not from the Spurs victory last night. Or the Chicago Bulls. Nope, it came from an internet quote this morning from Jack Nicholson on what it means on his 78th…his birthday is today.
Here’s the quote…that impacted me far more than a deposit slip…which over time and a few moves I have misplaced,
“There were points in my life where I felt oddly irresistible to women. I’m not in that state now and that makes me sad. But I also believe that a lot of the improvements in my character have come through aging and the diminishing of powers.” –Jack Nicholson, who turns 78 today.
No, the first sentence has no application to me…honestly.
What does make sense…and needs to be experienced: how improvement comes through aging and the diminishing of powers.
Bill Coffin once commented there’s a real conflict between power and covenant. That is. If you wish to be in a healthy and fully reciprocating relationship with someone—call it covenantal—that means each person NEEDS to give of the self fully for the good of the relationship.
Yes, “power” can be empowering. But most of the time, at least how I’ve experienced it in relationships that had no future, power was controlling, diminishing my self and encouraging my submission.
So, on this day that Jack Nicholson celebrates his 78th birthday—he’s got 3 years on me—I have read the quote, thought of the signed deposit slip [and no, I don’t remember who won the game, but think Michael Jordan was pretty impressive] and then reflected upon how relationships happen.
May it be…that our aging and our increased wisdom are in good—make that, great—relationship. And our decreased power and increased vitality abound.