Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mid- Summer reflections

Hey, look at this, I get distracted by all kinds of things, I don't blog for a while, and look what happens, the world goes nuts.  I guess I'd better get back to this or else civilization as we know it may not survive.  But, thinking about it, is that what we really want?   

We were down here at the beach house when I stopped writing and just began  talking to people, watching the tide come in, and just kind of hanging-out.  It's kind of fun to just kind of sit around and listen to people run on about their families, their views, their good times and such, with me not having to do anything about it.

You say your mother's sick at 92, or your son's getting divorced, I feel for you, but I'm on vacation. I'll talk to anyone, even Republicans  -- but most of them never listen, they just yell.

But then I went to the doctor and they sent me to other doctors, and the next thing you know I had three biopsies and two micro-surgeries and they tore my face apart.  Two little spots that I couldn't even see.  That wasn't even what they sent me to the dermatologist for.  ot anything really serious, that could spread or get into my blood or my brain.  But each time they took out some tissue they busted some blood vessels and the areas all around my eyes would turn purple, swell up and my eyes would close.  I spent the better part of three weeks looking like I had just gone three rounds with Sugar Ray.  Looked like I never learned how to duck away from a left-hook.

But now I'm back here at the beach house and I get to stay for a while.  My time with the doctors is over, and I am left with a few blotches, a little swelling and a line down my cheek that looks like Zorro just rode by.  They tell me it will all heal soon.

So now I have some time to sift through the year in my thoughts.  I will be down here for a few weeks to watch the tides and entertain the people who seem to want to come to the beach in the summer and realize that they know my wife.  No one really comes to see me(except for those two really weird guys)  but everyone gets me as part of the package.

A lot has happened since last summer, some by design and some just because things happen. So I'm going to take a day or two and think about it.

And look, just since I've been writing, the governing bodies of the United States have gotten their shit together and may have an agreed to not destroy the world financial markets for absolutely no reason. Ah, Kubuki Theater, American style, all made-up and stylized, with movements and meanings, plots and endings known to all, but the performance must be held to make it meaningful, even if it isn't.

There once was a time when I believed that most people, as they grew-up, wanted to do things that would benefit many other people.  That belief ended in Jr. High. Next was a time when I believed that people learned from what happened, and tried not to make the same kinds of drastic mistakes again.  That phase of my thinking ended in college.

What I know now is that some people learn how to manipulate the hell out of other people, and they use that skill almost totally to benefit themselves.

Lincoln said "You can't fool all of the people, all of the time."  But it is clear, especially with our wonderful new was of communicating, that you can fool a whole lot of people all of the time, and they will love you for it.

But I don't have to worry, I just got a letter from some guy in Nigeria, and I'm going to be rich......

Thursday, July 07, 2011

On being "normal"

I'm on vacation.  The Israelis and the Palestinians are still on their own, helping to screw up the whole world, and I am doing nothing to stop them because it's summer.

The weather has been beautiful.  We go down to the water.  The tide comes in.  Children run and splash and throw balls.  Balls never go our of style.

Friends come to visit.  Anyone who has a house within a mile of a large, scenic body of water knows how many friends they have.  We talk.  We talk about our other friends, about families, and now that we are older about the extended family.  The families that our kids have married into and the people who are now attached to us.  We talk about grandchildren, who are all charming, creative and soooo intelligent that it's sooo impressive.

As we talk to friends, and learn about all the people we know, as we observe the relationships of the people we know and love, and of those who we just know, or just know about, somethings become more clear:

My life is really good -- but still it is disappointing. Perhaps I could be doing more.  More what?

Talking about everyone else is fascinating, and it shows how difficult life is; no one comes out unscathed.

Everybody is weird, once you really get to know them.  The attempts to figure out how to solve the riddles of life take all forms. The solutions to each of life's problems vary very widely, but they all end up being incomplete.

The range of what is "normal" is so very wide.  Anyone who is not paralyzed by doubt and fear, and feels optimistic about tomorrow is weird, but is normal.  Anyone who is full of doom and gloom and is convinced that all good thing will come to an end, is considered realistic, but also is "normal."     Anyone  who has learned how to support themselves and to remain in a mutually beneficial relationship is considered normal, no matter what kinds of contortions they have to go through to make those two things happen.  In many case, just being able to maintain one of those, either being self-supporting, or maintaining a good relationship is considered to be doing well enough to be considered "normal.

Beyond that, everyone does it differently; inefficiently really, and everyone is fucked-up.

I can't think of one person who really coasts through it all, all the time.

I can't think of one person I'd rather be than me, and I have some strange, weird and bad moments, just from what goes on inside of my head.

That's normal.

That's too bad.  It should be better than this.