Saturday, February 17, 2007

Valentine's week, I unilaterally decided, deserved some time off. We went to a hotspring down in the Great Basin country. An alkalai lake bed, marshes, cattle ranches, skeletal lombardy poplars. The ground around the hot spring was littered with chips of obsidian and chert; people had been going to that spring long before gun-powder and bullets came to the Basin. It was a lovely restful place.

We need more of those places in our lives. More places without TV, with barely understandable radio reception, and no jazzy inputs. We need more eagles, harriers, crows, red-wing blackbirds, magpies. Deer and coyotes. Long, wide skies without buildings forming borders.

And, as usual, when I come back, nothing much has changed: maybe some locations or situations or rhetoric, but things are still the same ol' same ol'. Current events come at us like hail, but things don't change all that fast. Congress, for example, moves glacially; the President moves irrationally and seldom forward; the economy teeters, but we're reassured the period of "adjustment" is nearly over—only whatever happened to the housing bubble? Yeah, yeah. So, no matter how awful things look at any given moment, they're going to look equally awful in a week or a month or a year. It just goes on. That's what soaked into me in that 100 degree mineral water, out under the stars. "And so it goes," Vonnegut wrote, over and over. Always—and so it goes.

It's pretty obvious I haven't effected any change in the mess. Darn.

But, I've had some pleasant changes. My leg has healed enough that I don't need the big clunky hinged knee brace. I'm basically off the crutches and onto a nice cedar cane I made out of a piece of wood I found a couple of years ago. I'm ambulatory. What a relief! My jeans fit over my leg. Life is pretty good. It would be better if I had a pile of money, but, no big deal. Fuck those bastards in Washington.

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