I was just reading Poe Valentine’s essay in the 2006 Best American Essays (I am attempting to get caught up on reading the series. I fell well behind a number of years ago. Actually, I got annoyed because most of the essays seemed to me to be too erudite). Poe’s essay is much like George Orwell’s essay "Down and Out in London and Paris," I think he just wanted to see how much of a lowlife he could be. He did not get destructively lowlife. In this respect, he is much like Hunter S. Thompson. But he did get pretty low. I mean, taking a Greyhound Bus to Louisville Kentucky, taking up residence in a very seedy motel, and spending seven hours watching porn on the TV and jerking off is low enough.
But he writes about television before leaving Vermont:
"I’m thirty-six years old and rotting in front of a television set. The electrons that bomb that cathode-ray tube are crumbling the cartilage of my soul, eating away my youth and the children in my loins. I don’t need to see another riot, or plane crash, or evil twin, or clever light-beer commercial, or guy pointing a gun at me, or steroid millionaire swatting a home run. I snap off the tube and all those emotions that have been sluicing into my veins, all the opinions and ideas I have mistaken for my own, zip dizzily up into the atmosphere, and I am suddenly a man alone on a fold out couch in the empty darkness of an add-on room.”
Then here it is, the best line of all: "Without the distraction of television, that life-support system for people with no lives, I sit for a long while, steeping in the sudden revelation of my own stagnancy." You get the idea.
I actually had a wonderful no-television day. Both Pete and I gave presentations at the 4-H Horse Symposium. My talk was listed under the topic "Body Awareness." Two minutes before 10 a.m. and there is just one person present. Then, the room began to fill. Fifteen minutes later, there were close to thirty people in there. I had people moving around and thinking about movement. I hope they learned something.
I spent the next few hours talking with friends.
After, Pete dropped me off at the Wendt Road end of the White Highway, and I rode Hestar home. Ryder was with me. It was a flat gray, overcast day, but it had its own beauty.
Once home, Pete and I took Raudi and Hrimmi out for a trail ride. Pete rode Hrimmi with a sidepull, a bitless bridle, because she has a wound on the inside corner of her mouth. She did well. And I rode Raudi with the reins attached to the bridle rather than directly to the bit. No problem.
Pete elected when we got back to go for a bike ride on his skinny tire(d) mountain bike. He later said it was difficult. This made me realize that, yes, the fat tire(d) bicycle is well suited for the white highway. I took Tinni for a ride. He was like a freight train, full of energy. I had to walk him a bit. It was getting dark by then, but I did just a little bit of agility with Tyra.
Tonight I have to put together tomorrow’s body awareness class, which will be held at the Recycling Center. Beforehand, I’ll have breakfast with my friend Ruth. Then after, ride bicycle, ride horses.
So really, even if we did have a television, I don’t have time to watch the Olympics. I am enjoying what I am doing right now so much that I don’t have any regrets.
Next: 42.2/11/18: The Horse Life: Meeting “them” Where they are At