Monday, June 18, 2007


Time, Rocks, and Hot Springs

It’s nice to get away and it’s nice to come home. Good to leave the old familiar responsibilities and good to to pick them up again.

For my birthday, and for Father’s Day, we blew out of town, over the mountains to the McKenzie River, and some hot springs. We couldn’t afford to stay there, in their nice fancy resort—$100 a night, but we could afford an hour in the hot mineral pool on Saturday and another hour on Sunday. We got out of our minds and into our bodies.
The world did not fall apart while I was off being an unsupervisor. No more than it does with my supervision, anyhow.

No new terror plot hypes, that I’m aware of. Some new revelations about who knew what concerning the situation at Abu Gharib: yes, the administration did know about the torture, did authorize it, in fact. Fuck the Geneva Conventions, hello war crimes. Is this news to anyone? Maybe so, to some some sort of pro-Bush robo-neocon. It seemed obvious that what went on there was known about. Sanctioned. Ordered. It would be so good to see Rumsfelt, Cheney, and Bush in the dock at The Hague, charged with the same sorts of things we hung the losing generals and politicians for after World War II. My faith in justice might be restored.


But, in the meanwhile, life goes on. I'm now officially 69 years old. I'm an old man in most parts of the world. I've already lived longer than probably 99 % of the people who have ever lived. I don't know what that counts for; not much. I was looking at some formations of basalt and volcanic ash, layers of them, in a road-cut yesterday. In a dozen yards of exposed geology, maybe fifty thousand years' worth of upheaval, eruptions, earthquakes, erosion—and the period of my life-span, so far, might be, oh, about the width of a human hair. America's history might represent a half-inch of rock. We ain't much. I read something about the history of earth, if it were represented by the Empire State Building, the history of mankind might occupy the top five or six feet of the building. No more than that. Time seems like it's really important, but it's also utterly mysterious and infinite.

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