This blog is closed. For more recent content, visit Chris Clarke's new site Coyote Crossing.

Creek Running North

<< Good one, Rox | Main | Aneides lugubris >>


March 11, 2005

Love

From my notebooks, May 12 1993: Its a beautiful day, I can see for miles, and Im bitterly envious of Zeke, my dog. Hes living fully in the present, bounding up and down the cherty East Ridge Trail not thinking of the punishment he suffered this morning, or the abandonment when I went to work; neither does he fret about the bath hes getting later. Hes here and now, in the Monterey Pine savanna of Redwood Park in Oakland, taking each smell as it comes, each noise, each interesting thing accidentally trodden upon.

I, being human, am reluctant to let go of my worries, my fatigue, the things that have brought me to the East Ridge Trail. A light wind riffles the small fields of grass, reminding me of how the exotic and nearly ubiquitous quaking grass got its common name; Briza maxima has little dangly flowers like the end of a rattlesnake, or more specifically, the end with no teeth. Its the other end thats got me, today. These thoughts have teeth and they wont let go, and their venom seeps into my blood.

Petty thoughts. I really dont have problems big enough to boast of. A country western song about me would be pretty boring. My parents are both alive, as is my girlfriend. Ive got a job. The train stops less than a mile from my house. My dog did just run away, but here he comes running back again, less than a minute later.

No, Ive got just a few minor personal crises, the kind that dont even bear describing. Small as they are, though, they show the basic property that defines the gaseous state. That is to say, they expand to fill the space available in my mind, the container. Im here as a result.

By the time we reach the bench, with its view of Rose Peak far off to the south, the aromatic chemicals given off by the Monterey Pines have dissolved just enough of the accumulated crud in my mind to allow me to relax just a bit. It is a beautiful day. Zeke asks permission to come aboard, so I say up! and he jumps onto the bench, nearly knocking me off in the process. I run my hands along the grain of the wooden seat, worn into scallops by years of people sitting. No doubt the occasional bench-hopping dog has contributed some wear as well. The sharp, sunwarmed ridges feel good on my palms.

Posted by Chris Clarke at March 11, 2005 09:53 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.faultline.org/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/981

0 blog(s) linking to this post:


decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

Comments

Random responses, for no better reason than Im in the mood, and such a good post deserves a comment or two.

Hes living fully in the present

Thats one reason among many why dogs are better than people.

I, being human, am reluctant to let go of my worries, my fatigue, the things that have brought me to the East Ridge Trail.

An easy choice to make, though rarely a productive one.

These thoughts have teeth and they wont let go, and their venom seeps into my blood.

As someone who frequently suffers from similar soul-gnawing intellectual gymnastics, and who's tried a bunch of different fixes over the years, five words of half-assed advice. Meditation, tree preaching, Monty Python. Monty & Meditation are self-explanatory. Tree preaching, for the uninitiated, is just what it sounds like. Find a tree, preferably out of earshot of people you like, and tell it in no uncertain terms why life sucks. It works better than a shrink and for reasons we wont go into here, its actually good for the tree.

By the time we reach the bench, with its view of Rose Peak far off to the south, the aromatic chemicals given off by the Monterey Pines have dissolved just enough of the accumulated crud in my mind to allow me to relax just a bit.

Cool.

"It is a beautiful day. Zeke asks permission to come aboard, so I say up! and he jumps onto the bench, nearly knocking me off in the process. I run my hands along the grain of the wooden seat, worn into scallops by years of people sitting. No doubt the occasional bench-hopping dog has contributed some wear as well. The sharp, sunwarmed ridges feel good on my palms."

Good stuff. Well worth sharing. Thanks.

Posted by: tost at March 12, 2005 09:42 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

love it chris! we need dogs to teach us how to be.

Posted by: Anne at March 14, 2005 08:56 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs