Today I spent more time on a simple chore than I anticipated, but I still got home in time to take a nice walk by the little park pond. The cottonwood tree seed pods, all dandelion white, which I usually see flying in mid-air like Invasion of the Body Snatchers pod people creators, had landed everywhere, no doubt changing Collin County into something more like the Trouble with Tribbles.
One set of kids were fishing with minnows, and they seemed to have a catch on a stringer. Another fellow was fly fishing, because cool magazines now try to tell you that bream on a fly rod are "the other trout", but he seemed to have more cast than fish in his line handling. I've never fly fished, though my father did. This is one of those subjects about which I could, if called upon to do so, begin with that imagined slight, and end with how my mother dressed my brother in blue and me in brown. I am not one for reliving childhood slights, though, so I just kept walking.
They leave a good part of Glendover Park unmown, so that killdeer can make their nests on the ground. Lots of them free ranged the field. Swallows dive-bombed the little park pond for mosquito fish, which braved the green-algae-filled shallows. As I walked down a neighborhood sidewalk, a jaunty kestrel flew like a raptor out of glory all around the homes. Floats like a hawk, flits like a bee, with an albatross wingspan and an eagle's grace.
I see my comment count has now crossed 14,000, although I no longer follow the appropriate self-devised rule that one's "comments given" stat should be at least 2x as many comments as one's "comments received" number. When I am ill, and pushing it a bit hard, though, I get quite down, so lately I notice how I say the wrong thing or the thing that later will make me wince. I am amused that I have this deeply self-conscious streak combined with a near-massive ability to blunder on about any topic. It's not that I am a big fan of self-censorship. I believe that one can say almost anything, if one but knows how to say it. I get irritated with myself when I manifest that if I know how, I am not showing that I know how. But I see something that interests me, and either I use four words where eighty were in order, or eighty words when four would be more tactful.
I love that old Bene Geseritt wheeze in Frank Herbert's novel Dune:
"I must not fear. Fear is the mindkiller. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain". It's funny how this faux bit of liturgy from a faith that was, after all, part of the problem rather than part of any solution, should capture my attention so. But as with one zillion other people, those words resonate so much for me. But now that I am depressed, and irritated (only a tad) with myself, I want to write a new chant: "I must comment more wisely. Comments are the vehicle. Comments are the little death that procreates connection or ensures distance. I will face my inanity. I will once in a while let a pause pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me, I will turn to see the comment I have written. Where the comment is written, I will consider editing or improving the comment, or I will ensure that where the comment once stood, there will be nothing. I will be nothing".
But the problem with playing it safe, of course, is that safe is not real. The world is not safe. Relationships are not safe. Friendship is never safe--only vital. With true friends, one is less restrained than with anyone. If there is safety in such things at all, it is safety is only in the compassion of the moment. I suppose I want to worry less about what people will think about me (do I reach out too much? do I reach out too little?) and more about what can I add to the weblog communication process. I must comment more wisely....comments are the vehicle. But nuance without voice tone or facial expression is what Bill Nelson means about Death's driving an airflow chrysler. I am grateful for the introspection that depressed evenings with a cold bring.
Tonight we went to dinner with our friends Scott and Donna. We went to a little Italian place called Prego, although it bore little relation to the various "toney" Pregos on the coasts. I had a rather hearty lasagna. We all discussed politics, and marveled at the things we cannot believe about our country right now. I typed out a long and scathing post along world events, but I do not think that I am saying anything that bears repeating. I am more interested in seeing people vote than rant now. It is in voting that hope for real change lies.
Scott and I have meant to do more music recording, and I have been remiss since last Summer in setting it up. But Scott just mailed me a CD cover for "Gurdonfolk", all nature-trail wonder and latter day "Summertime in England" Van Morrison-y splendor, and now I'm jazzed with the idea of writing lyrics and singing them with my "sounds like Bryan Ferry on downers with a weird nerdy, crackable country twang" singing voice. They say in wine is truth--maybe it is only in song that my inner redneck truly appears. This whole thing holding me back--lack of talent and vision--seems trifling now. If you have a good album cover, then great music is largely a given. Gurdonark, songwriter--let the games begin!
Lately when I win an on line blitz chess game, which seems to happen roughly only half the time, I notice that some opponents, rather than resigning in lost positions, try to maneuver themselves into elegant checkmates. It used to be people would try to cause stalemate, but now they "helpmate" themselves, elegantly. Life loves a beautiful loser.
I am going to rest tomorrow, and maybe take a quiet walk, and do some very enjoyable work. Maybe I'll see a coyote somehow.