Vision: Via Positiva…C’Est La Vie by Howard Hanger

July 6, 2017 |

Comments you might hear in a recording studio:

We’re rolling.

OK, folks, let’s try that again.

I can’t hear myself.

I knew I should have stayed in school.

I know we can do this better.

I could use a beer or a bowl.

More cowbell!

But, perhaps, the most often repeated recording studio remark is: What if this is as good as it gets?

Watching a recording session is much like looking at your life through the wrong end of a telescope. It’s a microcosm of the big picture: You’re wanting a good outcome. You’re wanting people to be happy with what you are doing. You know you have some talent, but wonder if it’s enough. You wish you were more prepared. You are a bit stressed. Sometimes more than a bit.  You’re doing your best while wondering if your best is good enough. You’re hoping that you can do some patches, some re-recording, always trusting that maybe it will come out all right in the end. But again and again, you find yourself asking yourself, “What if this is as good as gets?”

C’est la vie – Such is life. Sounds so much better in French. Maybe it’s the wine. And it’s usually said when things have gone bad. Moved from sweet to sour. “Ah,” you say, when you didn’t get the job you wanted, “C’est la vie.” “Oh well,” you muse when the hottie turns you down for a date, “C’est la vie.” “Well, rats,” you mutter when the mechanic says your car repair will cost your next two paychecks, “C’est la vie.”

“C’est la vie,” is a way of wisely saying that sometimes life sucks, but life goes on. It’s a way of acknowledging the yuck while still being in touch with the yum.  “C’est la vie,” concedes that the gift of life is not always as we would like, but is, always and forever, a gift.  Picture a French Buddhist beginning a class on non-attachment with the words, “C’est la vie!”

The Via Positiva is not just a big Hubba-Hubba Party when life is good – when you do get the job and the date and the warranty on the car is still good. The Via Positiva is the path of saying “yes” to life even when you are pretty damn sure it could be a whole lot better. Nor is it simply putting lipstick on the pig, smearing a Pollyanna face on a cancer diagnosis. Trucking down the Via Positiva is a way of acknowledging the dark and the light, the joy and sorrow, the promise and the pain. It’s a way of acknowledging that God is in it all – that The Infinite pervades every goof and glory, every marvel and muddle, every pearl and poop.

Magical sunrise? C’est la vie!  Depressing divorce? C’est la vie. Totally boring day at work? C’est la vie. Cool breeze with a hot lover? C’est la vie.  Birth of a baby? C’est la vie. Death of a loved one? C’est la vie. Whatever it is you’re going through… C’est la Vie!!!!