The Pelican and the Mother-in-Law

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.”  ~  Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”  ~  John Quincey Adams

“No one can say if you are that person who, given good paint, good brushes, and a fine canvas, can produce something better than the factory man. That is, and has always been, beyond the realm of science. You do have the attitude of the dreamer about you. For that reason, I haven’t the heart to argue anymore about this – it is a hopeless talk. And for a simple factory man like me, an effort must be abandoned once its hopelessness is exposed. Only the artist perseveres in such circumstances.”  ~  David Wroblewski 

The joy of coffee is upon me today. Yesterday, not so much. Fact is I didn’t have any yesterday. No coffee? It boggles the mind, which, of course, was boggled to begin with. Confusion, revulsion, disappointment, feckless longing, fear, hope, hollowed-out courage, diversion, keen manipulation, always by others, the slow-drip erosion of honesty, and a whole lot of other forms of all that happy horseshit that contains without mercy the burgeoning tendencies of creativity, in both hard-copy daily life and the rarer, seemingly more evanescent realms of creativity. And no, I didn’t forget to buy coffee. Apparently I simply neglected to make any. See, Sunday mornings are hopeless times for me. I don’t see that in a sad or despondent way. Not at all. I’ve had this Sunday Gloomy Gus thing going on for years. Back, down, whatever, in the islands Sunday didn’t matter so much simply because it didn’t seem to matter what day it was. The seabirds would tell me that: dude, like chill, it ain’t tomorrow yet. No worries. Everything cool, mon. And pelicans in particular. Sometimes, as I crossed the bridge over Whale Harbor Channel on my bicycle, one of them good buddies would come to fly alongside. Or maybe glide is a better word. No more than six feet off my right shoulder, skimming along top of curl of wind. Eye contact with one of them beasties was always a joy. The darned thins knew what they were doing, keeping pace with the dude on the bicycle. Playing. Testing the wind as if they knew what they were doing. It seemed they both knew what they were doing and didn’t know at all. At times like that ya just gotta flow. Which beats the hell outta banging around through life like a pinball. The pelican and I, sharing a concrete bridge rail. Like brothers. And no, that is not a sexist statement. It was always a male bird. Every time. I can’t explain it. And I had best not try. The coffee I am drinking this morning is brewed just right, like my ex-wife taught me to do. Strong, dark, and bitter. And that means she is on my mind. And that means I sure as shootin’ woulda come up against her snarly feminism just because the bird was always a male. Her mother woulda been even worse. Her outlook on masculinity was more like ‘how dare you ride your bicycle alone, without a woman, without supervision’. And oh man was she ever plucky about it.

I had no intention of writing about pelicans this morning. Nor about my ex-wife. And especially not about the mother-in-law. That woman once gave me some lessons in rudimentary astrology. We did up my chart, then she went through each planetary aspect in the chart, interpreting what each one meant in the scheme of things. When she came to one aspect in particular she refused to say anything at all about it, except to say that it was too dark and scary to even discuss. Like, listen man, you have one serious flaw there. She didn’t say ‘keep away from my daughter’ . . . but that’s how it turned out. No, I never found out what she found so sinister in me. I’ve studied the aspect that scared her so much, and I don’t think it means what she thought it means. Now, back to the coffee. Starbucks. Morning Joe. Just to fill in the blanks here, my Gloomy Gus Sunday phenomenon was highly tempered by reading the Sunday Boston Globe, back when I lived in Worcester, Massachusetts. Those were good days, and I almost felt good sometimes. My world was still clouded from head trauma, 3-4 years after the fact. My depressive tendencies were undergoing, without my knowledge, a transformation that was triggered by the blow to the head. A coupla years later, back in the islands, that transformation came to a head. Full-blown depression set in. And I went full Gloomy Gus on Sundays. But enough of that, lest I be seen as wagging my finger at all y’all, preaching negatively, defending feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness. I deal, I cope, I wiggle around some, when those feelings get too strong. Truth is things ain’t that bad at all. I know that. But those feelings? Likely clinical, so they stay around until they are good and ready to go. And Sundays? The Gloomy Gus thing has developed quite a  bit of charm. Melancholy is not depression. Now it is every Sunday. Every one. By chance or by perseverance, I have found something cute and charming in those darkest days of the week. And I now have a medical cannabis card. Wisely dosed, Indica makes listening to Mozart on Sunday morning totally voluntary. It is said that listening to Mozart is good for the brain and mind. Wisely dosed, it could be even Bartok or Philip Glass. But my choice is always, these days, acoustic Celtic music. Soul music. Yet the day is sometimes just plain downright dark. Yesterday was one of those days; so dark that I forgot to make any coffee. Now, it’s time to pour my second cup of the morning, and to stop this friggin, ramblin’. Tally ho.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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