Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Looking at the sea, Veloso Salgado (1864-1945)

My birthday is here. Again. I've reached the age when it seems to roll around with startling frequency. This doesn't particularly distress me, but I'm amazed every day by the way life just keeps hurtling on toward its conclusion without consulting my preferences or accommodating my uncertainties. I'm kinda glad it does. If I were actually allowed to be in charge of things, my existence would be one long, dull wait for perfect conditions and my own sense of readiness. Instead, shit just happens and I struggle to keep up. That's way more interesting than living life according to plan, though it's not always 100% fun. Most of the time, I feel like that lady up there at the top of the post—looking toward the horizon with a shifting mixture of curiosity, bewilderment, hope, and dread, wondering what's to come.

The world has had an eventful year, as usual. So much sadness, so much suffering. And don't even get me started on human villainy. My tiny corner of the planet, however, has been blessedly steady. Almost everything that was true on my last birthday is still true. I still have that awesome dog the stupid people threw away, and now I have a second, equally awesome dog. Her old humans didn't want her either. SMDH, as the kids say. 

Miraculously, everything that was good is still good. There have been losses and continuing sorrows, and I'll confess to wasting some time mourning wasted time. But for the most part I have enjoyed twelve solid months of luck, love, generosity, and beauty. Abundant beauty.

Photo by BitterGrace

To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things—earth,
          stone and water,
Beast, man and woman, sun, moon and stars—
The blood-shot beauty of human nature, its thoughts,
          frenzies and passions,
And unhuman nature its towering reality—
For man’s half dream; man, you might say, is nature
          dreaming, but rock
And water and sky are constant—to feel
Greatly, and understand greatly, and express greatly, the
Beauty, is the sole business of poetry.
The rest’s diversion: those holy or noble sentiments, the
          intricate ideas,
The love, lust, longing: reasons, but not the reason.

~ Robinson Jeffers, "The Beauty of Things"

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