"People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind." - William Butler Yeats
On the bus leaving work reading a book I wondered were the words would go. The pages. Crumpled beyond recognition. Burned. Beaten to a pulp like the face of a bad bad man getting his due from an even worse man. Recycled. The book -- I knew -- would soon be finished and sitting on my bookshelf jammed between to others. Until someday. Changes. Like the cat will be dead someday. That'll be a change. And I will too. That will require some getting used to. Or not. Maybe I'll ease into my own death. Transition into eternity. Or whatever wherever whenever however and....
We fail at words so often. Many at our disposal but the right ones frequently out of reach or hiding. Supple reminders of our failings. Or subtle reminders. Either. I actually prefer my reminders to be supple or: bending readily without breaking or becoming deformed; pliant; flexible. That's the ticket.
Was standing at the casual car pool pick up spot recently waiting for -- what else? -- a ride when a gentleman of my acquaintance queued next to me. I was starting at my iPhone contemplating my next move in Words with Friends. He said: "I see you're a slave to those things too." The righteousness of the non smart phone user matched by incredible rudeness. "No," I replied, "I use my phone when and how I want to." I'm baffled by people who interrupt silence to be offensive. Of course one should never let such effrontery ruin a day or an hour or a moment but....
A week from today the better half (much better as a matter of fact) and I depart on our European vacation and you'll be able to read about it here if you so desire. There is the impulse on such trips to collect. Collect souvenirs photos memories. Compartmentalize the experience of travel into neat little boxes ones that can be shared with friends kin and co workers. Vacations weddings holidays often becoming stashed away as if separate from our normal lives the work we do the errands we run the daily routines. It is so easy to live out our existences in categorized sections. Clocks and calendars and schedules abet this process. TV is great for reducing life into seasons and programs separating reality and news and humor and drama. We thus avoid the messy business of an overall life that flows from one minute to the next from one activity to the next from one breath to the last.
It is easier too to settle into our routines especially with regular work schedules. The comfort of places to go and things to do and people to see. Life as a checklist. Life as TV Guide. Life as a series of events many repeated ad nauseam. We share our oral histories with others who in turn share their own. Uncle Earl has cancer there's a new neighbor down the street who seems a bit odd. A co worker was fired for drinking on the job. A friend had twins. The new car is running fine. Let's swap trivia. Long conversations that are nothing more than exchanges of the events surrounding our lives. They are treated objectively and without comment and are as interesting as morning toast without butter.
But I am happy. Are you? I am happy to be part of this mad whirl. To share in the wonders of life with so damn many people who are excited and happy and motivated and artistic and creative and inspiring and beautiful and want to help their fellow travelers have a better life. I'm drawn to those who want to create art. I'm drawn to those who want to help those who don't enjoy the same advantages. I'm repelled by messages of hate and anger and repression and violence and weaponry. Those who equate freedom with firearms do not frighten me they repulse me. As do those who worship at the altar of the mighty dollar. We can be we have been we are. Better than that. We need call upon our highest ideals not succumb to our basest instincts. Must.