Sunday, August 17, 2014

where August dwindles

Talking on the phone with a friend from Maine yesterday, both of us paused for a moment or two and wondered if the cool weather this August betokened a real change in environment or whether we were just a couple of old farts looking for something to complain about.

Foliage in Pa.
As habits go, August has always been the hottest of the summer months in my mind -- a time to get to the closest water, jump in and stay there. It was a time for serious sunburn and, on a road crew, serious sweat. August was a "height" of some sort -- an apex accumulated over years of practice and assumption.

But now a couple of geezers were noticing that old habits, once again, were betraying them. Both of us seemed to need a light sweater ... in the middle of August.

Some habits are easier than others. They occupy space and toot their horn, but it's not as if you were bitten by a Great White ... you could dump it and not feel any particular loss. Other habits, however ....

On Aug. 11, 2014, American comedian Robin Williams committed suicide. Talk about a habit to nurture and release -- humor is so welcoming and warm to those who feel chilled and lonely and alone. To find a warm place and then be raked by the understanding that that too lacked the warmth and inclusion and kinship ... and yet where else could anyone look? what other habit could fill the void? Hollywood is so fucking, fucking lonely ....

Kind of like ordinary people, only on a big screen.

How do you become as good as Williams was and live with the inevitability of no escape ... a place where habits can be appreciated, perhaps, but set aside in the end? Who will point the way?

I liked Williams quite a lot and yet the Miracle Glu of humor is something it is hard to envy. Humor comes from the outside and being on the outside is a tricky and painful business.

I guess the Buddhists are about right -- suffering points the way. Wouldn't it be nice if humor were as easy as August to dispense with?


  1. You are no geezer, Adam. I find you a fountain of youth. Welcome back!

  2. Robin Williams had a way of making you feel like he was your friend. And in all of this samsara, the unenlightened only have each other. We should appreciate and nurture that. For the while that we had him i'm grateful. For the while that i have you i'm grateful. And when my while is up, i'll try to be grateful.

  3. I once heard that the Bedouins have a greeting that goes, "I salute you and I thank you for your life."