May 29, 2005

Patterns of force

I'm sure you've detected the pattern in the Pic of the Moment--from excruciating detail pictures of flowers in the spring to Victorian literary figures now that summer is here.

Yes, it's time, in LA at least, to move indoors until Fall. Too hot to be outside after about 9 am, and it doesn't cool down until midnight or so. Yah, man.

I'm a little at sea this morning, not sure exactly which direction to go in. I attended my daughter's seventh (SEVENTH!) dance recital yesterday, and was again amased at how much she has grown up, and how far she has come in seven years dancing on the stage.

Finally bought wood for the swing restoration, but that's another blog, so we won't discuss that.

My neighbor brought out his two old tractors and two buggies, speaking of restoration. He's got a lovely old early 40's International Harvester Culti-Rotor A and a '46 John Deere Model H, both of them in excellent running condition, fully restored. He still uses both of them around his house, even though his days of farming are long in his past. My brother and I practically grew up over there, down at the end of the road, with his two daughters and the neighbor's two boys and oldest daughter, and so it was a really nice thing for me to go and visit with him, talk about the tractors, and sweat. He's up in his late 70's now, and has the usual crop of old-man-problems; he can't sleep well at night, usually sleeps in front of the television in his easy chair, and is usually up at 3 or 4am, when he makes himself a cup of coffee and sits on the swing in the yard waiting for sunrise so he can start his day. I can see myself being that way as an old man. Sleeping a few hours each night, up blindingly early, waiting for the sun to catch up with me.

Being old has always been a part of my ambitions. I know that sounds insane, but I have always seen the wisdom that comes with age, the lessons that lie behind each hoary head, and I longed for that wisdom and knowledge even when I was a very young boy. I never wanted to be particularly young, and didn't enjoy childhood too much. Oh, don't get me wrong, I was a kid and still am, but I had the most fun when it was just me and my brother and maybe a few neighborhood kids playing in the fields, not school and social adjustments and girls and all that. School for me was 18 years of uncomfortable feelings and the urge to be out in the real world, where I could do something useful. And if you're counting, you have to add 6 years of college rather than the usual 4. I enrolled the summer after high school, and long story short, to keep from dropping out for good at the end, lacking 3 hours to a BA, I stayed enrolled in Art classes to keep busy, and ended up earning a second degree in three semesters.

So here I am, close to 40, feeling better about myself and my place in the world, still chafing at the edges, but that's to be expected. I feel more like I belong, I feel that I have at least started to become the person I WANTED to become. At least I have a little (not a lot, a little) wisdom to impart, when it's asked for. And I appreciate what it takes to get here, and further on. That's a big part of it--appreciation for what it takes. I've got a lot, I really do, and when I look at the three-story monster houses that pepper this little town, with their four-Mercedes garages and the snotty kids I understand what it is to not know what you have, to take things for granted, and I know what sort of work goes into Life.

I'll try and stay humble.

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