Carelessly Applied Distractions

Rosie 43.jpg

Rosie, the queen, and her crystalline pillow.

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.”  ~  Ellen Goodman

“In a world so redolent with wonder, how can we allow ourselves to conduct our daily lives with so little insight, such absence of dignity?”  ~ Bruce Sterling

“The advice that I have valued in my own life has never turned on fixed maxims or canned metaphors. More crucially, lists of precepts don’t work like targeted advice because lists contain inherently constraining messages. They seem to say that complex matters are knowable, that a given process leads to foreseeable results. It implies a thin and predictable world, whereas the sort of advice that has mattered to me bespeaks a quite tentative optimism, the optimism of the quest whose outcome is finally unknowable.” ~ Peter D. Kramer

The morning has been one of distractions, all quite benign, and carelessly applied. I became immersed in the quote search again. Different people saying lots of different things. There is something comforting about it all. Yet of all that I read, beyond the three that I chose, one in particular sticks with me. He is an edgy, delightfully intellectual man, and somewhat of a drunk at times. I saw him on Late Night With Bill Maher, clearly sporting a good buzz. Yet he . . . well, he still made sense, however controversial he sounded. If you keep in mind that booze drops inhibitions like hot rocks you can see the honesty in Christopher Hitchens. I love the way he writes, regardless of the heady way he puts across his thoughts. And I admire that he chose to chronicle the closing scene in his life, as he slowly died of esophageal cancer. That’s what my mom had, that’s what killed her. It was hard to watch, and it was in essence impossible to take good care of her, and yet I did. But mom didn’t write about her plight. Instead she watched reruns of Matlock and Columbo, Murder She Wrote, and even Perry Mason at times. I could get into it. A good mystery can provide some good escapism. Oh, wow, I just got distracted again, darn it. What Mr. Hitchens said that sticks with me this morning is this: “Cheap booze is false economy”. That’s easy to say, if you can afford the best. I coulda gotten into having two or three fingers of fine single malt whiskey with Christopher, chatting, with me listening to some insights that . . . but, hey, I can hold my own in such encounters. Yeh, if I’m gonna fantasize I’m gonna make it more dialog than soliloquy. I owe it to myself. They underlying message here, of which I am fully willing to reveal, is that I haven’t had a deep chat like that in a painfully long time. I can only think of two such occasions. One was the Executive Director of the animal shelter when I first went to work there. She’s the one that got her car torched during the heat of a scandalous conflict that . . . oh. never mind. We had a good long talk over coffee. The other was the time I had lunch with a neurobiologist. She generously paid for the meal. I will never forget the look on her face when I asked her if, as a research scientist, she thought consciousness is an endogenous phenomenon, or something that is not a product of our brains, which can be best viewed as exogenous. I just learned that word, exogenous. I didn’t use it during that lunch chat. But she went with the endogenous theory. I, of course, believe otherwise, because of my NDE. Now, moving forward . . . it’s time for me to shower. It’s gonna be some last minute retail Christmas shoppers in the store today. I get paid to be of assistance, to provide good customer serve, and to take their money. I seriously doubt I will still be thinking about death, intellectuals, consciousness, whatever, but you never know for sure. You never can tell. If you love a good mystery I might recommend Columbo, although The Librarians are more my style. I’m being obscure here. The Librarians? On Hulu. I love those folks. And now, I’m gonna step outside to view the penumbral shadow of morning, the have a little shower. This has been fun for me to ramble as I write and . . .

“Flaubert was right when he said that our use of language is like a cracked kettle on which we bang out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we need to move the very stars to pity” ~ Christopher Hitchens

. . . yeh, what he said. I can dig it.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


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