August 29th, 2002

abstract butterfly

A Thursday in slow motion

At dawn my wife headed off for work, as she always does. But tonight she flies out to DC to stay with old college friends in one of those Virginia suburbs of DC near the high tech corridor out there. She'll have a good time out there, as her college roommate and college roommate's spouse are nice folks. I find myself alone for the long weekend. On Saturday, I am probably going to drive to my parents' home in Arkansas for a quick visit, and to help my brother retrieve a truck he is to borrow from there. The rest of the weekend is largely mine to spend, although I am inclined to spend part of Monday working.

Today my "to do" list is rather long. I will head into the office slightly early to begin completing the tasks, one by one by one. I've had a productive month this month, so far, but as is usual, I can only think about what I have not done, and not what I have done.

I'm not really reading a novel right now, or looking forward to a movie, or dreaming about a hike I need to take, or even thinking of a special meal I need to have. I am not in the midst of any personal or spiritual epiphanies. I'm instead in one of those "keep on trudging" moods, a sort of mental ice storm in January, relieved by sporadic inward fiery blasts.

I'm fortunate that I'm one of those people who is naturally very contented. My daemon tends to be complacency, not agony. But times like the past week, when I feel little fissures in that contentment, interest me. Fortunately, many of the irritations and angers I have felt in the last day or two are readily traceable to "real world" events 'deserving' of anger. Only a few have been the proverbial pinpricks that turn into sword gashes.

Today's goal? Get the work done. Tomorrow's goal? Get the work done. Saturday's goal? Get chores done. Sunday's goal? Get hobby stuff done. Monday's goal? Get work done.

The point at which goals fade away and fun begins?
dark flower

Fate is a town in Texas on a country road

They use the word oblivion
when they only mean that
they cannot see the end of the road.

It's comforting, somehow, to describe dust as chaos,
a bumpy road as an impossible journey,
a bit of slope as a mountain pass.

They describe life in the terms of an adventure travel guide,
though they live a life from a tract home brochure,
full of gauzy pictures, and unrealizable dreams.

When they discuss eternal life and endless love,
it's a secret code for brief moments of calm and abandon;
who can find eternal things, in such a temporal place?
  • Current Music
    Be Bop Deluxe, "Heavenly Homes"
abstract butterfly

Now I'm bored

Could someone tell them to stop sending up trial ballons about Iraq? If they can prove a case for it, do so. If not, let's focus on true homeland security. The worst thing about the Clinton administration, next to the ridiculous "I did not have sex with that woman" speech, was the sense of government by poll and trial balloon. But at least the Clinton folks had some grip on monetarist thinking and some grip on working with our allies. The current administration does all the Clintonesque government by trial balloon stuff, but does not realize that war is not a "trial balloon". War is a matter which a democracy takes very seriously, and we need more than talking heads from think tanks on CNN before we start one. I do not cede my constitutional liberties to the discretion of John Ashcroft. This is all so obvious. It bores me. What do I do when I'm bored? I vote, for one thing.

I remember when conservatism meant monetarism, a reluctance to get involved in ambitious foreign wars, and a deep-seated respect for personal liberties and the rule of law. I usually call myself a liberal, even a lefty, but some days I feel I'm twice as conservative as Mr. Bush ever will be.