Saturday, July 21, 2012


Having slept poorly, my mind sweeps itself up without apparent connections....

-- If I am amazed, as I am, that the squirrels who do an early-morning scamper through a Japanese maple across the street can hang, fully extended, upside down as they reach for otherwise unreachable tender shoots ... if that amazes me, what amazes them? At the White House, politicians burnish their credentials by handing out Medals of Honor to young men ("heroes," to use the accepted parlance) who have done amazing things and yet who, to a man, cannot quite grasp or accede to the hymns of others ... things like "Amazing Grace," perhaps. Perhaps, like heroin addicts, our minds just demand amazement because it's such a wonderful feeling and without it ... well, let's not go there. If man is amazed by God, what is it that amazes God? If the answer is "nothing," what lesson does that suggest and how boring might God be?

-- Today, based on yesterday, I may or may not double check a couple of things: 1. Whelks, whose general meaning I know, but whose specifics I lack. 2. "Fair dinkum" an Australian bit of slang ... but how slangy I'm not sure ... does it carry with it an indicator of education or class or lack of either; it's just a neat phrase on my mind's tongue. 3. Having watched a PBS movie, "Endeavour" again last night, I would like to track down an aria sung in it ... listen to the whole thing. But I know little about opera and don't speak Italian and, although I imagine it comes from Puccini or some other swimmingly delicious composer, how do I hum the tune to the computer so as to track down a full version?

-- The air today is cool enough to give me goose bumps as I sit smoking on the porch, watching the squirrels. Perhaps I will break the cycle of the last two weeks when writing and intense heat 'excused' me from the peace picket line and rejoin old acquaintances. My mind balks at the idea of doing my bit by putting on a robe and raksu ... balks at the idea of looking for a parking place ... balks at some self-serving notion of 'being an agent for change.' But the idea of getting outdoors after so many days huddled by the air conditioning ... perhaps that will put a fire under my fanny.

-- Idly, when skimming the paper, I wonder how I might introduce myself to a group I didn't know. "Hi, I'm Adam Fisher. I'm 72. Married, three kids. I was in the army for three years, though I never had to suffer the seared soul of killing anyone else. Book publishing and newspaper writing were my most notable office jobs. Packing Popsicles and running property lines in the Oregon woods provided money at other times. I practiced Zen Buddhism for some years, but that's pretty much a worn thread nowadays. Astrologically, I am either a dragon or a fish, depending on your preferences. I lean liberal, but enjoy well-made conservative philosophies."

On the one hand, that's short and sweet. On the other, it's not very informative. You'd think I could come up with something amazing, but I can't ... any more than the squirrels or God could.

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