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January 26th, 2003

Cold, with a cold

Yesterday reading and resting consumed most of my day. I looked up, and suddenly, it was 2:30 in the afternoon. A few moments later, it was 5:30. I watched rerun of the Buffy episode in which she first confronts Adam, then tried to go for a brief walk at our little local park. I was barely a block from our house, when I had to turn back. I really didn't have the energy.

My wife made a wonderful turkey chili, which is a real comfort. Last night, we watched the last x amount of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I remember seeing that movie just after I'd started college. It was such an thrill for me, then, that acquired sense that we are not alone. I still get that thrill when each new planet is discovered. Somehow I think that the search to understand what is "out there" is very important.

Today will be another day of rest. I'm eager to avoid having one of those drawn-out colds--I want to nip it in the bud with much rest.

counter-programming

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, which has the nice side benefit that almost every cable channel is offering something to watch on television which diverts one from wishing to watch the Super Bowl.
One movie channel has Walter Mitty, another has Breakfast at Tiffany's, another has Sleepless in Seattle, and even the Food Channel,easily my least favorite channel (if we exempt religious programming and programming in languages I don't speak), has a marathon of episodes by those two charming English ladies who bob about the countryside on a motorcycle. I've been watching Sleepless in Seattle. I like football fine, and might watch a bit of the game, but as a general rule, once the teams I follow finish their seasons, I tend to lose interest in football. Because basketball and ice hockey are far less interesting to me than football, I see this winter season as a relatively sport-less time.
I'll probably soak in movies and marathons of programs today.

Today my cold really turned south on me, wearying me a good bit, and requiring me to spend the day sleeping. My work load will not permit me to take tomorrow off, so I must soldier on as best as I can. It's been reasonably cold outside, so if I must have a cold, this is probably a good time to have it, as hiking or outdoor fun would be problematic anyway. We're thinking of going to south Texas at the end of February for a weekend. I'm trying to decide between the hill country, the whooping crane nature preserve on the coast, or maybe a nice weekend in the beach town of Galveston.
I think, all things being equal, I might enjoy going someplace like Palestine or the Big Thicket, where good hiking is near and things never get crowded.

The nice thing about being ill is that all the daily worries that one has get diverted into worries about not feeling well. This always teaches me something about the transitory nature of the many things about which I worry each day. I am not quite ready to promote influenza as a magic way to mindfulness, though.

Channel surfing past a movie channel playing Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's reminds me of the time when I heard her speak at the local film festival some good number of years ago.
She had had a bout or two with cancer by that time, and seemed somehow to still be in pain. Yet she stood at the podium, shimmeringly graceful, with that charming accent, slowly intoning a really nice little talk. I'm enchanted by gracefulness, perhaps because it's not among my personal traits. It was not that many years after that talk that she passed away. I am not one of those "meet celebrities" people, and always enjoyed the Los Angeles tradition of ignoring film celebrities. Yet there's a part of me that was glad to have seen Ms. Hepburn speak, as artificial as that was, really.

I'm looking at a photo I took last February of a sunset on the ocean at Key Largo in Florida. Deep purple clouds are like little patches just above a band of gray along the horizon and a little band of an orange brown. In mid-sky, a line of white cloud is present, but above that narrow line, the sky is clear. The light shimmers over the water--there is one boat. I see that picture and I feel what it was like to look across that water, towards that sky, and I am somehow at peace.