In the movie City Slickers, the Billy Crystal character searches for the secret of life, which a grizzled cowboy played to perfect by Jack Palace (remember the one-armed push-up on the Oscars?) tells him the secret of life:
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger]
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.
Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”
Curly: [smiles] That’s what *you* have to find out.
Leonard Cohen, in of his live recordings, shares the secret of life because, as he says, “I’m not the kind of chap to keep something like this to myself,” and it turns out to be “Do be do.” Ram Dass says the secret is to “be here now.” Charles Schultz says it’s just “to hang around until you get used to it.” And Oscar Wilde writes, “The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being deeply deceived.”
As for me, I’m going with James Taylor: “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time,” and then he tells us “The secret of love is in opening up your heart.” Finally, “The thing about time is that time isn’t really real,” letting us know that however we name the whirling, chaotic mystery we live, it’s so much more than we can point our fingers toward. So basically, the secret is no secret but just to discover the courage to open our hearts as time, which isn’t really real, passes through us. Listen to Taylor directly here in Charlotteville or here in Milan.