The Art of Living Expectantly: Meeting Accordion Bob

The Art of Living Expectantly is understanding you never know who you’re going to meet and the impact they will have on your life.

“Before moving to Montana, I felt like the hole of a donut. Now I feel like I’m living outside the boundaries of normalcy.” Words which were spoken by a fellow we met in a little bar just outside of Glacier National Park, Montana. Accordion Bob was his name. In August of 2016, Rich and I climbed in a fully packed minivan with a couple of good friends and two dogs for a 14-day road trip across South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. The awe-inspiring scenery through those mountains is life-changing, but that is a story for another time. After hiking in Glacier Park for the day, we headed into this little bar to have a beer and talk to some locals. It was mostly full of young, free-spirited type people who lived “outside the boundaries of normalcy.” We would most likely consider this community of people homeless because they lived in tents in the mountains. It was a pleasure chatting with several of these locals. There were a few who were running from life, some who were trying to find themselves, and then there was Accordion Bob.

Accordion Bob was in his 60s, a retired teacher who moved to Glacier National Park and found a life fulfilled. I sensed his passion for his art, the peace in his soul, and noticed the joyful twinkle in his eye. Something of his words, “feeling like the hole of a donut”, still resonate with us over the years.

The Art of Living Expectantly is understanding you never know who you’re going to meet and the impact they will have on your life. More than once, I’ve remembered Accordion Bob’s words and the feeling of wonder that came over me during our conversation. Simple people, living a simple life, experiencing life to the full.

I say to you, blessed is he who exposes himself to an existence never brought under mastery, who does not transcend, but rather abandons himself to my every-transcending grace. Blessed are not the enlightened whose every question has been answered and who are delighted with their own sublime insight, the mature and ripe ones whose one remaining action is to fall from the tree. Blessed, rather, are the chased, the harassed who must daily stand before my enigmas and cannot solve them. Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who lack a spirit of cleverness. Woe to the rich, and woe to the doubly rich in spirit! Although nothing is impossible with God, it is difficult for the Spirit to move their fat hearts. The poor are willing and easy to direct. Like little puppies they do not take their eyes from their master’s hand to see if perhaps he may throw them a little morsel from his plate. So carefully do the poor follow my promptings that they listen to the wind (which blows where it pleases), even when it changes. From the sky, they can read the weather and interpret the signs of the times. My grace is unpretentious, but the poor are satisfied with little gifts.

Taken from Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Heart of the World

For more information on Accordion Bob (Yes, he is a real person!) visit…/art-scene-qa-bob-mislivec-6/

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