Many, many thanks to all of the kind people who said encouraging things about my medical slice’n’dice. You are all lovely, and very reassuring.
The power of caring people all coming together was shown in another way yesterday when a large and noisy crowd responded to the ‘president’ when he went to Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s memorial. They chanted, at high volume “Vote Him Out!”
Another trip to the doctor’s today for the removal of yet another pre-cancerous (sun-damaged) lump. With all these stitches I’m beginning to resemble a badly-made patchwork quilt. Or perhaps a rather worn, much repaired teddy bear would be a better image? If you, like me, have fair skin or Scots blood, or both, then do please get yourself checked for skin cancers, I urge you. These things can develop into unpleasantness.
Still, with 200,000 deaths from covid (and these are just the ones we know about, probably not including those who died of old age plus covid) my ailments are hardly news-worthy.
Cue song: “The Teddy-Bears’ Picnic” (1932 version) https://youtu.be/dZANKFxrcKU
Today represented my first real shopping day (aside from food) since we’ve been in this thing we all know so well, now. It was a trip to IKEA to scope out tables. I’ve always liked IKEA – there’s always so much to see. The grandkids think it’s wonderful too, and they enjoy seeing all the different ways one can furnish a room.
This time it looked a bit, well, desolate. Not all the shelves were full, and in some places the glorious plenty of previous days seemed as if it had shrunk to the bare minimum. The table we wanted turned out to have a seven month waiting list.
Perhaps the days of easy access to lots of stuff have gone. Perhaps it’ll be better for the planet.
Our neighbor was kind enough to offer to take our old half-filled paint cans and such like items to the Hazardous Waste disposal site. The towns around here offer this service a couple of times a year.
The she got there, she said, she was amazed at the huge line of cars all doing the same thing. And it made me realize that the average citizen really does want to do the right thing by the environment. We don’t want to pour our toxic liquids down the drains — despite what the Big Polluters think. They think they’ve got us where they want us, and that we don’t care. But we do. We do.
Huge gratitude to our neighbor. Huge gratitude to our community, too.
Sitting on my front porch admiring the Fall colors creeping in, I noticed another phenomenon. It’s something I’d seen only a couple of times before. The clouds low down were traveling roughly South East. Those much higher up were moving North West. I checked this against ground objects. It was no illusion.
It happens, sometimes, that the local air currents vary like this. And I thought how it was a reflection of so much of human life, especially now. The currents low down, close to us, may all seem to be moving one way, but the true power of the wind, in the upper atmosphere, is moving steadily in the opposite direction. What seems, and what is, are often at variance.
The sign seems to say it all. Except that idling does have its virtues. Dr. Johnson thought so, at least, when he wrote ‘The Idler’ in the Eighteenth Century. In those days the word meant something closer to thinking freely, outside the box, wondering. I like to think that sort of idling has its uses.
The Eighteenth Century was an intensely busy time, wrapped up in ideas of progress and ‘rational’ improvement — a bit like our time. Perhaps a little more idling might have been good, then and now.
I got drawn into one of those on-line word games where you have to fill out a crossword. It’s amusing, and taxes my brain a bit. Then came the ads for other games; lots of them. And one of them bawled at me, “This game is so addictive!” Other ads also mentioned the addictive quality of their game. So now addiction is a good thing?
Thinking about time and change, and the fact that we will probably never go back again to things as they were before covid, I came across this page in The Guardian – a photo essay of the changes in London’s architecture.
Take a look at these before/after aerial views of London. I’m no longer surprised that I have difficulty recognizing the place. Londoners still seem to be the same cheery folks as always, but they feel like an endangered species in a highly engineered zoological park. The human scale is not present any more. Cities are for money, not people….
Remember those wildfires on the West Coast? Today the high flying smoke and residue began to do odd things with the sky in New York City, giving us unearthly glimpses of yellowish skies and a muted sun. Expect more tomorrow. Then: connect the dots. This isn’t the world I envisioned as a young man.
Taking the grandkids (7 and 5) to the local bike park I’m always interested at how they like to repeat their circuits. They gain competence, and self-assurance, but it also occurs to me that they like it because it’s something they know how to do.
And I wonder how many things I do, simply because I feel I know how to do them, and in an uncertain world that gives me reassurance.