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Saturday, February 24, 2018

But Yes!

This is California. February. There should not be ice encasing Lamb's-ear leaves. But yes. There it is, a strangeness settling on the land. We have a leader who, for all good intentions he may have, looks as if he has digested himself and will implode, blast himself out backward, leaving only a ring --to be gilded and sold at auction. This level of tension is dangerous to stand behind, which is why the cabinet always stands arrears with mouths closed. There are also aides at ready to re-inflate the president with a bicycle pump.


But yes! I garrulate. I am near his age. My superpowers of prior years --flight, x-ray vision, invulnerability-- have left me. My final superpower was the ability to keep my mouth shut, but (yes!) I lost that somewhere too. Careless of me.

The balance of this essay concerns age. Here is how I feel when waking up in the morning. I don't know anything but am pretty sure I am a mammal, don't think about who is president or whether he or she has organized thoughts --what? 2 hours?-- ahead of me (consult a globe).  I look at the highboy in the bedroom corner. What is a highboy? It's a chest of drawers that was called that when I  was a a kid. I lay there and think: "Drawer spelled backward is Reward." But yes! Socks!


It has knobs. Knob spelled backward is Bonk! This bonks me back in time 10 years, when I had some surgery during which I unfortunately woke up. My skeleton got so scared it climbed out the incision and ran off down the road. It was apprehended a half-mile away trying hitchhike on the interstate. Good thing too.

By and by, I wake to my world --as it is now, and as I am. There is a region of agreement where I align my delirium to that of modern society. I feel compassion for my fellow humans, and for myself. Have you ever noticed how hard it is, after all the work you've done --after all the unkindnesses you've done to yourself to reach your goals of family, security, politics etc.-- to confer a little kindness on yourself?  But yes, me too!

31 comments:

  1. Geo, I'm not so sure it isn't a good idea to open our mouths at this age. We've been through a few dramas and if only by osmosis have learned a few things and probably absorbed a few wisdoms. We can take our ideas into the next realm or we can share them now, thus lessening pressure on our superego
    and giving the rest of our brain and thinking-feeling wiring and operating system a little room to relax. And sometimes you just need to be heard.
    I thank you for the great image of our leader having digested himself and preparing to implode and blast backwards. That is something to wait for!

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    1. You're welcome, Tom. I meant no disrespect to the president, but had finally got to the point where I had to mention waking up on the table, telling the surgeon he was bridging my pacemaker leads and causing my left pectoral to spasm. He made the adjustment and I conked out again --but I'd flatlined earlier that month, had paddle-burns to prove it, and didn't want it to happen again. Happily, I'm ok because of good, skilled people. I retired from gardening public places a year later. That's how good these people are.

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  2. A quite well known phenomenon in certain quarters that, when looking over one's former life and wishing to put things to rights, we are the last persons we remember [and are able!] to make amends to.
    Glad you're still with us, Geo.

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    1. Thanks Tom, you're quite right. There are many memories in this (temporal-geriatric) quarter of life that are reliably wince-inducing. We are a circus of them. Still, glad to be here. Glad you are too.

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  3. We need your wise voice, Geo, so I hope you do open your mouth whenever the urge arises, just not downwind of our chosen-by-the-unpopular-vote leader.

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    1. Dear Chicken, the wisest response I can make is that my wisdom is debatable. As to Mr. Trump, I can only hope he learns his job better. Some good may come of it yet. After all, the founder of Lutheranism once said,"When I fart in Wittenberg, they smell it in Rome."

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  4. You made me laugh out loud reading this today Geo. However.. about your President. Why are people so anti? Was it his comments about women that started it? All I can say is: Have people never heard the ribaldry on a building site or anywhere else that men gather? I quite like Mr Trumps naivety. I didn't like him displacing crofters in Scotland to build a golf course though.

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    1. Oh John, I wish it was that simple. His comments on tape did him no good, but his antics during televised candidates' debate were worse. Calling Ms. Clinton a "nasty, nasty woman" breached most polite limits and his tactical down-staging her rebuttals breached the rest. It was just downright creepy and SHOULD have lost him the election.

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    2. Geo, when you have as much money as he does, then you can get away with being a bully. Frankly, I never wanted Trump Or Hillary to win. Bernie Sanders was my choice. But the world continues to value money more than people.

      I count more and more homeless people sleeping on sidewalks as I make my way to the grocery store each week. This should not be happening in America. Again, a most insightful post.

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    3. Geo.February 26, 2018 at 2:52 PM

      Thanks, Dylan. I quite understand your vote for compassion at the Federal level. Increasingly, in California cities --most notably here in the capital-- local governments have watched the homeless overwhelm prior sheltering and find other places to lay their heads at night. We're at the confluence of 2 rivers. Men, women, children line the banks, so of course there's raw sewage and other debris in the water --even the once pristine American River, an ironic nomenclature now. However, Gov. Brown is drumming up funds --by increasing sales tax less than a penny, which I'm all for-- and good Mayor Darrell Steinberg has got designers to come up with safe, small but private shelters for these people. It goes far too slowly but it's the best that can be done. What I don't understand are local governments which have put these measures off. I don't mind a penny added to my sales tax. In a fairly well-populated state, that covers the cost.

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  5. I've been told thadt as we get 'older' we tend to lose our filters and start saying what we think without first thinking about it. Guilty as charged.
    You are correct in saying it is difficult to come to the point where we start being kind to ourselves. I am working on that. It becomes even harder when you realize so very few of us are being kind to others. Maybe if we all were kinder to ourselves we would be nicer people.
    I've rambled here so much I'm brain scrambled.

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    1. Delores, you are most certainly NOT brain scrambled. There's just so much depth and compass to compassion that it takes at least a lifetime to learn it --a compelling argument for the hereafter. When I realized, so long ago, that gentleness is our greatest strength, my tail fell off. Please excuse MY rambling --it's Sunday and I'm a substitute pastor at heart.

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  6. This is the very definition of stream of consciousness writing, I think.

    Older folks usually have the luxury of not having to keep their mouths shut. I reaize I'm approaching that age where, somehow, things are excused that woud not have been excused at 20.

    But I'm not the President, obviously. Acknowledging one's limitaitons and letting someone who understands a topic be the one to comment on it is important in some jobs. President is one of them. But then again, acknowledging he's not an expert on everything is not one of the President's super powers.

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    1. I quite agree, Harry. But yes, I am supposed to be wiser than I was at 20, am I not? Still waiting for that.

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  7. I have long looked forward to being 81 years old. That is the age I thought was acceptable to speak my mind without offending anyone. I could not wait that long either.

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    1. Dear Emma, let's both resolve to speak our minds for as long as we have them. Deal?

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  8. At this point in my life, my skeleton jumps out of my body and runs down the road when I look in the mirror.

    Ice? In California? In February??

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    1. Yes, dear friend Jon, ice! Reality is locally apeshit these days. As to evacuating skeletons, yes, that did happen --except for the interstate hitch-hiking (you know I NEVER exaggerate). But it's amazing the human body can overcome extreme sedation to say something's wrong. Ok now though.

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  9. The frost on the lamb's ears is beautiful, in spite of its unexpectedness in your corner of the world.

    I was shocked to read your account of waking enough to speak to your surgeon! The human body and brain can be quite amazing.

    I've linked in my Monday post to two articles which, directly and indirectly, have increased my understanding of the attraction of Trump to disenchanted citizens of the USA. The world is a hard and sometimes scary place, but your blogs are always a soft and often a funny place to land.

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    1. O_Jenny, thank you. I was undergoing cardiac nerve ablation at the time. The attending nurse's name was Gabriel. I thought it apposite to be operated on by my electro-physiologist and an angel --but when mistakes happen, despite risk of ptsd, it's best to wake up and tell them. Indeed, we find ourselves in hard an scary places, but soft and funny is a good and healing destination.

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  10. The picture of the crystals on the Lamb’s Ear is lovely, although, not something you might expect to see in your area. We live in a world where things that we could not imagine happening, are happening and are in our own back yard. We have to hope that the ice will melt before the plant rots.

    What a horrible thing to happen to you on the operating table, Geo. It is a nightmare that many of us fear when going into surgery. I am so sorry that you had to go through that. You have such a warm, kind heart that we can all see through your funny and thought-provoking posts and we are so thankful that the doctors were able to fix you up. Do take good care of yourself, we all need your wise and beautiful words. You touch us in so many ways.

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    1. As usual, your climate assessment is quite accurate, Arleen. I think you get at least as much news from keen observation of gardens as from the media. I am moved by and appreciative of your compliment. Thank you.

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  11. Oh sweet dude, of course you are much wiser now than you were at twenty. We just thought we knew all the answers back them, but now we're humbly aware of all the things we don't know, which makes us wiser in my book.

    I never had the horrible experience of waking up from a deep anesthesia while having surgery, but my heart did stop beating while under the knife once. (My out-of-body experience was dreadful, too... involved a bleak meaninglessness to life, which is unthinkable to me.) As far as I know, my skeleton stayed put. Too lazy, I reckon.

    Be well.

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    1. Dear Susan, you're right, we are wiser but are we so open to new experience as we were at 20? I hope we can retain some measure of youthful enthusiasm --strange as it sometimes was-- to keep us fixed here in the remote future of ourselves.

      As for OBE, I've only had one experience. In 1966 I met a girl who lived 30 miles away. We became friends, dated, wrote and called each other (sparingly, you remember long-distance call rates back then). Then, one night I woke from a dream: In it I was bodiless, floating near the ceiling of her bedroom. She was writing a letter at her desk, to me --I could read the 1st sentence. I saw her clock read 2a.m.. I withdrew and woke. Next day, she called. I asked if she had been up late (she had), started a letter (she had), then I recited the 1st sentence of the missive. I've never had another OBE, but I sure believe they happen.

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    2. Actually, I think I'm more open to try new things now, as long as I'm physically capable of doing them, than I was when I was young. Back then, I believed I had "lots of time" to do it all, but now I know I don't.

      Wow! Your OBE sounds a lot more enjoyable than mine. Now, if we could only figure out how to do it at will, huh?

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    3. Agreed, Susan. The OBE (which only made me want to project my astral back home and fetch my body) was mutually decided to be as much her thinking of me as any psychic ability on my part. We parted some years later as friends to different states, then wisely married other people. She became a full professor of philosophy. As usual, I became a gardener. Personally, I prefer this electronic cyber seance to OBE.

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  12. Frost not unusual for Cornwall in February, though we have a wind so savage it's been named 'Beast From The East' which makes it sound like a wrestling career is next. Perhaps it wishes to be known in California too? Saying a witchy prayer that it might freeze shut the stupid mouths and stop bad hearts - that's definitely not you. Please keep freely speaking, even under anaesthetic/duress.
    Also: sending supportive hugs.
    Also: great socks.

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    1. Dear Lisa, I love my socks --they are gifts from Daughter! Supportive hugs welcomed and appreciated for affection and warmth --it SNOWED in downtown Sacramento Monday!!! Might Oak Dragon have something to do with that? Thanks!

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    2. Hmmm, Oak Dragon has not been seen over winter, I will have to make enquiries...
      We too have unexpected snow. Schools are saying their heating is broke because everyone wants to play. Plus this is an eye opener for people who thought climate change meant we would all be living in a tropical paradise.
      I've got Daughter socks on today - thermal of course, ready to go play!

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    3. Could our unusual weather be caused by continental drift? I have seen no wake at the the coast nor heard of British Isles underway --however, I will wave when we meet if that is among the strange events of our times. Otherwise, I will strongly suspect Oak Dragon's involvement.

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