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October 30, 2020: Going down, Fast

The sun has been shining here. The fog’s rolled in at lower elevations. Funny what a difference this makes; of course, I much prefer being surrounded by sunshine. I’m going to push hard on the boundaries of metaphor. I’ve been under the weather for the past few days and have been seeking ways of being above the weather.

Being involved with the Bright Lights Book Project has become akin to being on the Titanic and having the luck of Lee Harvey Oswald. The good ship book project is heading towards an iceberg and I am powerless to do anything about it. The band has also struck up Nearer my Dog to Thee. The life rafts have leaks and the baling cans have holes.

Alys leading Tyra up to the arena

I can no longer deal with the noise on the floor, the dust, the lackadaisical attitude of the staff. So I’m not going to subject myself to this anymore. Out of sight, out of mind.

I also have come to the realization that the number of productive years I have as a writer are very limited. And, additionally, I’m never going to land my dream job, which was to teach creative nonfiction writing in an MFA program.

Looking back, I can see that my failings follow a distinct pattern. It can be summarized like this: work really hard, falter, quit doing what I’m doing. Sulk, find something else to do, repeat. It’s much like a self-fulfilling mobius strip.

What to do? Get gum and chew fast and put the gum on the holes in the baling can. This, at least keeps me busy.

There is actually one saving grace, and it is akin to putting the gum over the holes. I am lucky in that I have a major distraction. This distraction takes the form of five chickens, four horses, two goats, and two dogs. Tending to them all gives me great joy. Pen cleaning must be in my DNA because I enjoy doing this, this includes shoveling out the goat pen.

My spirits were lifted by all these very remarkable animals. It was very cold, in the single digits, but I still went ahead and worked in the Playground of Higher Learning. I had Shadow with me as I was setting up the course. It was fun, watching her push the large blue ball around. I then did agility with the mares. And once again, I was struck by their high degree of willingness and patience. After, I first took Tinni for a walk, then rode Raudi, then took Tyra for a walk. I don’t think animals are appreciative – but they do take considerable pleasure in being able to exercise and run free. How could I not be buoyed by all this positive energy?

I often wonder what it would be like if we had no animals. I might, today, have done as my neighbor Karen did, and gone skiing up at Hatcher Pass. Hard physical self-exercise also has its own reward. Or, I might have stayed inside and read a book or two and then taken a nap. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this, either.

I am grateful to have that which cheers me up when I am under the weather.

Next: 301. 10/31/20: Halloween

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