Nine fifty PM.
I just got done watching the official video for “Pride” by U2. I guess there’s something to be said for icons after all, but I feel that there must be a reason for my de emphasis on pomp and grandeur. Now I think of the former president with a shudder of dread for his egomania, but it’s really a symptom of an American disease. We always want things larger than life to feel entertained and satisfied. But why aren’t we happy with the little things? The media amplifies everything out of proportion without a thought to its impact on the public. We need to be more responsible for what we say.
My dog Aesop is so intelligent that his feelings can be hurt if I say the wrong thing. I told him that he was overweight yesterday, and today he pouted for most of the day and refused the carrot sticks I offered him as snacks. He’s self conscious about his weight! It makes me wonder about his interior monologues: what does he think in his canine tongue? Sometimes I wish I was Dr Doolittle so we could understand each other. Or, like Sigurd in Viking mythology, I could drink the dragon’s blood and be given comprehension of animal speech.
Every living creature deserves to be heard.
Seven thirty five AM.
There’s a reprieve from the wind and rain of yesterday and last night. Outdoors I saw tree debris scattered all over the streets. Also I noticed for the first time that a lawn on Fremont Avenue had gone completely to seed. The grass was so tall that it was lying sideways with the blades tipped like little spears. I wonder what the situation is with that, though it’s not my business. The same house is where I observed the white truck with Confederate flag license plates in January a year ago. And on the street in front of the house someone had sprayed “gay” one time. Very strange. So I ambled up the sidewalk to market and went in. I encountered a young lady who had a pleasant face and like a klutz I blurted, “Hi!— how are you?” She smiled politely and returned the greeting. The delivery came through yesterday, so I grabbed two deli items; but the distributor didn’t say what happened to the missing driver… The little store has changed so much in three years. Sometimes I think of Michelle, now someplace in Wyoming. She’s only been gone since March: two months ago, but it seems like longer than that. Who knows a month from a year anymore? I entertained the idea of going to church this morning, but those people are too paranoid of Covid and I’m still throwing off a cold. Besides, I don’t feel like singing hymns today or any day. The church was there when I needed it, when it counted, and I’m grateful for that.
Quarter of nine. When he’s in the mood for it, Aesop likes me to pet him. I couldn’t have picked a better dog than him for intelligence and devotion. He is day and night different from the pug I owned ten years ago. He guards the fort and keeps me safe. I don’t even have to lock the front door when I leave the house. Blue heelers are an amazing breed. Aesop is one more reason why I can’t complain about my life.
I’ve decided not to be passive today, but to be instrumental in my own moods and thoughts. If it rains outside, then it doesn’t have to rain within me. I can dust off the old idealistic philosophy and make life better. I don’t know why everything is in a slump currently. Maybe it’s not necessary to know in order to fix it. I wish we had more choices than just the same old Christian and Buddhist churches in Eugene, but then it’s really up to you to form your vision of reality. I don’t believe in a Resurrection that Christians are waiting for so excitedly. It’s probably nix on going to service this Sunday. When you don’t believe, there’s no sense in pretending otherwise. It’s also impossible to turn back the clock to peachier times… I reckon what I want is another brain to have an intelligent conversation with; someone who’s not a church pastor or other spiritual leader. Someone for whom Jesus is not the point of reference for every topic of discussion. And finding a person like that requires a trip abroad, or going online in search of international forums. My experience is that this country has gone intellectually stagnant.
I see that my dog is in a better mood today than yesterday, but I admit that I’m still in the pits. Nature doesn’t seem to know that it’s springtime now; we’re getting wintry weather still in Oregon. Maybe that’s better than super hot like it is in Texas. Well whatever. Nobody’s listening to anyone else anymore. No one seems to care on this gray and rainy day. It’s a good thing that most Americans have a dog.
Daylight comes to an overcast morning. I walked to the market an hour ago with the music of Gustav Holst in my ear, from The Planets. It was pitch dark, but well lighted by artificial means. Several times I paused and looked around me. But my mind was really on things years in the past, though similar to the present time. I’m getting onto the spirit of the age, whether others agree with it or not. The newbie at the store, Lisa, wore a triangular Celtic pendant that I mistook for AA. She told me she used to get into Wicca and she distrusted organized religion, etc. I listened to her and said good for you, then turned to go out the door.
The Saturn piece by Holst reminds me of buying King Voltaire dog biscuits for my pug in his old age; sometimes I bought Beggar Dog if I was at the convenience store. There’s probably a reason why this music haunts me lately. I see Aesop getting mellower as he ages, so I just hope for a few more good years together. I remember when he was a puppy and would lick my ear off when we retired to bed, and I’d be breathing alcoholic fumes. Aesop forgave everything. There were times when he was my only family; indeed, my only friend. Meanwhile the sun keeps climbing behind the clouds and never stops chasing its own tail.
The blonde assassin passes on,
The sun proceeds unmoved,
To measure off another day
For an approving God.
Quarter after eight.
My dental appointment is this morning, but for some reason it doesn’t worry me. During the small hours I did some speculation on how my life’s peaks go in cycles of 12 years. After some fumbling around with my search engine I discovered that Jupiter takes 12 Earth years to complete its orbit of the sun. It is also known that Jupiter brings happiness and prosperity, hence the word “jovial.” Is this information just a coincidence with my experience?… Aesop is staring me down regarding his breakfast at eight thirty… If my insight is right, then next year should be the next peak for me.
Or perhaps the time of jollity has already begun?
I feel a little sad so far this morning, I’m not sure why. I was lightheaded walking to the store a bit ago in the rain, maybe worried about having Gloria over. Also, my dog is getting older and shows less vitality as time goes by. We only age towards the future and not the past. And yet some things can rejuvenate and restore us. I thought of the poetry of Wallace Stevens yesterday; I like his “Study of Two Pears” very much. His concept of nature is totally different from that of someone like Shakespeare three centuries before him. For Stevens, religion is just another man made thing while reality is very broad and round rather than flat. And for Shakespeare, the Word of God was logically prior to the natural world…
Gloria will be here at nine o’clock. Soon I have to put the dog in the room down the hallway. I’m feeling under the weather but I hope to pull through.
Noon hour. The best part of Gloria’s visit was our trip to Bi Mart and St Vinnie’s on Division Avenue. Especially I thought it was great to see Sherri, Kirsten, and Ann at the first place. Sherri was laid off when the pharmacy closed in November, but obviously got rehired on the floor as a cashier… Gloria said she would like my help with her computer when we can set it up at my house, so of course I’ll do what I’m able to do. I let her borrow a book and gave her two movies on dvd; also some old blue jeans for making patchwork quilts. The book was Josh Halliwick’s Madness, a self published account of a person’s battle with schizophrenia. Gloria said she’d love to read it because she really liked A Beautiful Mind, the mostly true story of John Nash, winner of a Nobel Prize for his economic theory and a person living with schizophrenia… As sometimes happens in March, it just hailed this afternoon. And now I owe Aesop his crunch bar snack for being good while we were working today.
Nine twenty five.
I slept in this morning, which was kind of nice but for some bad dreams about people I know from the community. My dreams are often quite realistic and plausible, and now that I’ve quit going to church, the “net” or filter of language has mostly dissolved and dropped away from me. This means that my dreams and feelings come through clearly with more force… I think an optimistic outlook is a good thing, and I wonder why I have this boding of gloom and doom at all times unless I catch myself and correct it with a rational response. The beauty that once was still is today as long as we’re looking for it. I don’t go to the extreme of Descartes saying I think therefore I am; this is probably backwards from the truth, and philosophy might be quite disposable in my opinion. But it’s a truism that the item of language is very difficult to overcome. Stripped of everything else, I still hear music in my ears, and music is just another language, a vocabulary of feeling rooted in mathematics.
Right now I’m relaxing with my dog in our family room. He’s had his breakfast of beef in gravy and my Snapple tea was great but I drank it too fast. Outdoors it’s quite warm and cloudy. I heard Lisa say that today is her first Friday on the job at the market. She seemed a bit stressed but she was handling it okay. Karen of the salon was jabbering on her phone when I passed her door, so I figured I wouldn’t interfere today. She appears to be always on her phone and doesn’t know how to prioritize between people in person and those on the phone line. This behavior comes across as a little rude whenever I try to talk with her. And voila just another case of crossed signals in human contact with each other.
Thanks for your comments on what WordPress is like now. They gel together with my own perceptions of the scene. But you know, today my head is quite empty of philosophical thoughts. It was kind of cool to tune in to my dog’s mentality and do something good for his pleasure. I realized that he had been depressed for a long time, so that a walk outdoors really lit him right up. I verbally promised him that we’d do it again tomorrow morning at the same time. It’s funny how realistic a dog can be. Very grounded and centered in the here and now, and as I keep saying, Aesop is intelligent. I could no longer ignore his presence as a conscious being. It’s also interesting how the “meta” things people do have no meaning for a dog. For instance, dogs don’t like music or anything creative or artistic because they seem unreal to them. They have no use for fictions like human beings do. And sometimes this can be refreshing and admirable in Aesop. It would be very difficult for a dog to tell a lie.