Thursday, April 16, 2015

wistful, wishful thinking

Hop, stop, listen, peck -- the impeccable, imperious robins are out in force this morning.

They associate me, somehow, with a much-frayed wistful wish. As time passes, the wistful wishes have a way of receding: Travel to Afghanistan or the Orkneys or Tierra del Fuego hardly qualify as wishes any more, though once they did.

But that doesn't mean the world of wistful wishes is dead and gone. This morning, the impeccable, imperious robins make me wish wistfully that I could hear as well as a snow-diving fox in the arctic. And not just hear as well, but also partake of what is somehow a joyful, giggly swoop and dive into the whiteness all around. The fox, of course, is serious beyond solemnity -- this is survival, after all -- but in my ignorance, I laugh and delight and indulge in wistful thinking...

Joyful and somehow silly ... and somehow rousing up the irrelevant phrase, "muff diving."

Funny how in advance, wistful, wishful thinking beckons and is bright and oh-how-I-wish. But when put to the test, its reality delights in a whole new way and with a whole new repertoire of laughter and tears.

Once I read Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," a Beat Generation 'classic,' though not a very good book. It made my young man within chafe and champ at the jelled conformity I imagined was constraining my life at the time. I figured that anyone who hitchhiked long distances could be as free as I wistfully imagined Kerouac to be.

So I hitchhiked across America -- twice.

Naturally, it didn't work.

But, on the other hand, it worked just fine.

Muff diving in America.

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