-- Words slip away these days, or anyway lose their crisp edges, and two that I thought I'd look up today were "heuristic" and "dystopian." So I did. So what? What does anyone know when they know something? And, further, to what extent are words invariably used as defense mechanisms ... a way of asserting a presence and social connection that is dubious at best... a defense against the pale darkness of silence that pervades and insists like the informative emptinesses of a Chinese or Japanese ink painting. There is so much sky; what is the sky made of? Call it "relevant" and you miss the point. Call it "irrelevant" and you miss it again.
-- If, as I read the other day, women use 13,000 more words in a day than men, then ... A. What are women saying, B. What are men not saying and, C. If you knew the answers, what would you know?
-- Today is another in a series of sunshine-y, sparkling days -- cool and crisp and bright and perfect weather for the track meet my older son has gone off to coach. Somewhere in the leafed-out branches across the street, a woodpecker raps out an impossibly rapid tattoo. How the hell can anyone or anything move that fast?
-- It's Memorial Day weekend -- a three-day adventure that declares Monday to be a federally-mandated holiday for many. Remembering the wars. As usual, the greater the pride and orations, the more apparent the lack of tears becomes.
The other day, a Comcast technician came by to fix a TV connection that was on the fritz. Besides his cable job, he is also an Air Force reservist who spent time in Afghanistan as a radio technician. But when his radio duties were in order, he was also responsible for helping to unload planes bringing in the dead and wounded. When I asked him what that entailed, he said he was "not at liberty" to discuss the matter ... it was "classified." Perhaps Memorial Day is likewise classified ... it's OK to talk about the wars and warriors, the flags and bunting, but the fallout is stowed away in the "secret" bin. It's enough to make you weep.
-- Passed along in email as a reminder of the unsung workers who backstop all projects for which others are blithely credited was this:
In 2007, Boulder City commissioned local artist Steven Liguori to immortalize "Alabam," one of the unsung workers who helped to build nearby Hoover Dam. Alabam was a specialist. His job was to clean the outhouses of the vast construction site: sweeping refuse, tossing lime into holes, and restocking the always-diminishing supply of toilet paper.