It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist. The Old Poets of China -Mary Oliver
maybe, just maybe, if I stopped constantly talking and thinking about how busy I am, my life wouldn’t seem so busy….
lungs are supposed to hold air so oxygen can be absorbed. that is their one job. For some reason, my lungs have decided that that is too much responsibility, so they spontaneously collapse every once in a while. This past july I had to have a tube put in my chest to drain the air in my chest cavity so that my lung could reinflate. This past weekend I had to go the hospital because it happened again. But I suppose it’s not all bad; it’s an experience that very few people have. I can truthfully say that I know exactly how it feels to have air percolating out of my lung into my chest, so that’s pretty cool. New experiences are always good, right?
When I was little, We didn’t have a pool so my brother and I used to have our parents turn on the lawn sprinklers and we would just run through them and splash each other. There were the radial sprinklers, the sprinklers that slowly rotated, the ones that stood still. And all of them seemed like the greatest thing on the whole entire planet for those hot canicular days.
However, my brother and I no longer strip off most of our clothes to jump through an irrigation system, and we haven’t done so for many years. I’m not upset that we don’t do this anymore, but what bothers me is that I don’t remember the last time we did it.
In calculus there is a theorem called the Intermediate Value Theorem. It basically states that if f(a) = 5 and f(b) = 10, there must be some f(c) for every point between them. It’s a really dumb theorem; I know.
If i used to run joyously through the sprinklers, and now i don’t run joyously through the sprinklers, there must exist some point in time where the sprinklers turned off for the last time. Neither me nor my brother nor anyone else planned this moment; none of us knew when the last time was going to be. There was no fanfare; no commemorative picture. The sprinklers turned off and I wrapped myself in a towel, just like every other time before that. But that time was different; that time they would never come on again. Well, they would, but just to water the grass.
For everything that I ever start, one time I will do it for the last time. I don’t like this. I want a commemorative, nostalgia-steeped photograph for everything that I ever stop doing. I want them all bound in a book that I can look at and never forget. Look, there’s the picture of me the last time I went on the monkey bars, and here’s me riding in-line skates for the last time. I don’t want the activities that I used to love to go out without so much as a whisper. It’s like my passion for running through sprinklers was was silently, unknowingly quenched by some errant water droplet on the day (that I can’t point to on a calendar) that I apparently decided to never ever run through sprinklers ever again for the rest of my life always.
I made a poster for an elementary school (read: overlaid text on a picture of Mt. Rainier) and the principal liked it except that there were too many commas. Notably, there was an extra comma before the ‘and’ at the end of a list. She wanted it gone.
She wanted me to delete an oxford comma.
I had to do it.
She’s the principal.
I’m so sorry.
Eigengrau (German: “intrinsic gray”), also called Eigenlicht (“intrinsic light”), dark light, or brain gray, is the color seen by the eye in perfect darkness. Even in the absence of light, some action potentials are still sent along the optic nerve, causing the sensation of a uniform dark gray color.
When we’re young, we dream about being old. We sit beneath trees and dream the days away. We dream about the future, about how much better it will be when we can drive, when we can get a job and spend money on whatever we want. We can’t wait until our parents are longer around to say we can’t eat ice cream for dinner. We want to get out of our hometown. We want to look upon the whole world, mouth agape in ripe wonderment. But don’t worry, we say, one day our lives will be so much better. One day, we tell ourselves in the shade of that tree, we will have freedom.
When we’re old, we dream about being young. During our daily commute to work, we reminisce about the past. We look back on the days when we could afford to just dream the whole day away. As we idle in that traffic, our seatbelts slightly pinching our waist, we long for the days when our parents cooked us a hot, healthy meal every night. We miss when the cul-de-sac was the whole world, when the forest across the street was a dark, foreign land just begging to be explored. We want to look upon the world once again with mouth agape, filled with the raw wonderment of youth. What happened, we ask ourselves, our lives used to be so much simpler. What happened, we ponder in that hot car, we used to have so much freedom.
I wish that there were a time in our lives, maybe only a passing moment, when we are perfectly, fiercely content with the present; when we are looking neither backward nor forward nor inward; when we are just looking around.