Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

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drifting thoughts, or on not being Aldous Huxley

What an event-filled Fourth of July weekend. I'm lost in random memories of things now. Lying with spouse and friends on a horse blanket on the 4th on an open field before it was dark enough for fireworks, watching white clouds fixed within a blue sky. I looked away, and the clouds seemed to disappear, dissolved into blue. I read the wonderful August issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine which asphalteden sent to me. I used to read sci fi magazines quite often, but this was the first I'd read cover to cover in years. William Barton's novella, "The Engines of Desire", touched me in a way science fiction does not always manage to do anymore. It is almost a throwback to an earlier era of sci fi, but it has that dual immediacy of metaphor and wonder which makes the best sci fi both current and timeless. Our neighborhood has a little "community pool", not really a lap pool, more a pool to which one goes and soaks and dog paddles. I had not visited this year thus far, but to go this evening to spend a half an hour paddling around, watching swifts overhead dart here and there for bugs, and then to retire to one of those long deck chairs for a read at Rebecca, that is the definition of living. After marstokyo kindly suggested I pick up a copy of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" to help me learn to draw, I found an early edition virtually free at half.com (by the way, nacowafer, I am deeply impressed that almost every book that sounds like it might be a good read is already in your personal library--it might be fun to run through our separate copies of the book simultaneously. I can use my "precognition" already to "see" that while I will get through the book faster, in fact, your sketches will be of far higher quality). Meanwhile, postcardx things of impressive quality and quantity keep rolling in, and I must begin rolling things back out, or risk being less an exchanger than a recipient. I will learn to draw quickly, though I do have a nice set of snaps I could send.

I strategized with scottm for the recording that I hope to do in a few weeks of electric football fields, while my old friend Gene and I discussed whether he and I might spend part of his vacation together (I will hear soon, Scott, so that we may schedule our stuff; btw, Saturday evening put me in an enormously good mood--so you guys are probably going to get declared controlled substances by the GWB people). This long weekend featured not one but three social events with friends, which is roughly two more than my usual tolerance, and yet I am really pleased we socialized with each set of folks.

Oh, but the missed opportunities! I got to see a good bit of one of my favorite film performances, Tom Courtenay's role in The Dresser, including the wonderful "train" scene, but did not have the energy to finish the whole film. Natalie Merchant was in town Wednesday with Chris Isaak, and we were just too tired to go. I slept until noon on Saturday, except for a few moments up to have raisin bran and read the paper. I loathe sleeping in on a weekend day--it's like taking the hourglass and stealing the sand.

But life happens all around me. As I changed bird feeders out, putting in an "easy for birds" feeder with "everybird loves 'em" seeds, I noticed that the feeder I had hanging with saffron seeds (which attract only "posh" birds), which seemed to never attract birds, actually was nearly empty of seed. The problem was not the feeder, but the watcher. Sometimes my endeavors fail (see, e.g., the terrarium I still haven't revived since the "marigold disaster" this Spring), but how often is it just a matter of inattention? Those darn doorways of perception. It's all well and good to talk about 'em when you're Aldous Huxley, stoned all the time and hanging out at the Vedanta Temple in Hollywood...but what about when you're middle aged and straight-edged in the Texas suburbs, and pretty much just like staring at white clouds?
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