Dead Day

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Dead Day
A Thursday Thought
12 July 2018

Funny how a day without soccer suddenly seems a dead day. Yesterday was filled with world cup fever. Anticipation, build-up, cheering, Croatia (champions), defeat (England), football (fantastic) … today the world cup has a rest and people start to breathe more easily. As a result, all -over, boredom, cleaning up, defeat (deja vu), emptiness, future (hopes on hold) … all the alphabet soup of life packed into a few short hours.

Where do we look for meaning? Is there even any meaning to look for? I watched 120 minutes of soccer, yesterday … that’s two hours. Well spent or wasted? Meaningful or not? The world heats up. A hurricane moves up the coast, turns into a tropical storm, then back into a hurricane. Hit or miss? I still don’t know, but I hope it misses. The last big one hit in 2014. We went ten or twelve days without power, and that in the Province’s capital city. Five trees were downed in our yard. More than a dozen were tugged up in my neighbor’s place. Why? Why us? Why here? Why now? Is this personal? What did we do wrong? Values? Meaning? Yet, for 120 minutes yesterday, I could forget my immediate woes and concentrate on football’s joys and sorrows. I guess that holds meaning in itself. I thought so yesterday. Today, I’m not so sure.

Out driving yesterday, I pulled into the roadside twice to allow ambulances to pass. An ambulance, a mysterious closed vehicles, lights flashing like a mad Christmas tree manned by a crew of Dr. Who Daleks. Yes, it was warm. Yes, people were excited. I guess someone, somewhere, was overcome by something and the telephone rang and the call went out to the ambulance. Values? Meaning? “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stop and stare” … at the ambulance, lights flashing, sirens sounding, as it rushes by and we pull over into the side of the road to allow it to pass. Values? Meaning? A sense of an ending? A sense of a beginning?

Today, more than anything, a sense of being suspended, of waiting in a bubble, in a certain silence, for something to happen, don’t know what, or when, or why, or where, or to whom. The world, instead of moving on, seems to stand still. Even the leaves on the trees have stopped shaking. The silence before the storm, perhaps? What storm? And who will it strike? And where? And how? And when?

How will it begin? How will it all end?

 

 

9 thoughts on “Dead Day

  1. Roger: I, too, experience those famine days between feasts of busy-ness. I confess that I’ve not been following the futbol, as my time and attention have been demanded elsewhere, and for more than 120 minutes at a time. If the quiet days are between noisy ones, I rejoice, and bathe in the respite. If the noise has ended and the next maelstrom has not yet been entered, I am less comfortable with the quiet. And so it goes. Hurry up! Wait! I love to engage, and to disengage. I’ve been doing the former lately, to the degree that I haven’t taken the moments to listen to your read-aloud poems; my loss. I know they’re stored where I can get to them on one of those rare respite days. Be well. Jan

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    • Sitting in a crowded bar in Spain, surrounded by a sea of noise, one learns to become an island of silence and to isolate and listen to the one voice that matters. However, when one joins that sea, the clutter and clatter can be overwhelming. Then it becomes difficult to concentrate and the silence becomes an absence of clutter. That absence of clutter can be overwhelming, because suddenly one is face to face with that hollowness within us all. It can be a frightening place. The urge to fill it takes us over we again crave noise and the need to not think or have our thinking done for us. This last part is the most dangerous one and the world becomes even more frightening when we allow others to do our thinking. I don’t think you and I and others who read this blog regularly are too like to fall into that trap. As Oscar Wilde once said “I can resist anything except temptation.” Some days the temptation to be thought for and to bear no personal responsibility is strong.

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  2. Hi Roger,

    However futile the search for meaning appears at times, I take comfort in the fact that there are people, like Roger Moore, who contribute to meaning by actually searching for meaning in his own life, and in the workings of the larger civilization.

    Every day, all day, two hummingbirds who live in my neighbourhood fight for prominence in their futile attempts to drain the hanging bowl of sugar water; and, just when it is down to the final few gulps, it magically refills almost to overflowing.

    Two loons arrive on Yoho Lake each spring within days of winter’s ice leaving the lake. Every year, they build (very sloppy builders) a nest and try to raise a loon child. When they have a successful hatch, they jubilantly proclaim to all who will listen, “look out world! There’s a new loon on the block.” The old eagle is, of course, overjoyed and the loon pair must be protectively vigilant throughout the summer. They have little to defend with while sitting on the water, and depend on their penetrating yodeling to scare predators. They require a 200 foot runway and about ten seconds to become airborne. The young loon invariably survives to become a prospective loon parent.

    An enterprising crow living at Yoho Lake has expanded his foraging horizon by learning to scoop small fish – dead or alive we can only surmise – from or near the surface of the water. The original fisher-crow had a gangly leg that hung from his body when he flew, and perhaps that got him (or her) to thinking of new ways of feeding. Now there are at least two more doing the same thing. The fisher-crow flies low over the water much like a seabird until prey is spotted, then flaps its wings furiously to remain stationary above the fish prey, much like a seagull or osprey, then surges forward in a downward arc and scoops the yummy morsel from the water with its beak. It would not surprise me if several generations hence, crows are born with webbing between their toes. “No more worms and MacDonald’s chips for me,” says the fisher-crow. “Life has taken on a whole new meaning.”

    About fifty years ago, or so, someone ate an apple and dropped a seed on our property at Shepody. The seed grew into a tree and produced many apples over the years. Eventually the apples became bitter and inedible. This spring I chopped down a portion of the tree and was left with a bit of firewood and a mess of branches. “I’ll take those branches off your hands and use them in my smoker,” said my young neighbour. Two weeks ago, the neighbour offered me a piece of smoked salmon fresh from his smoker, smoked using clippings from the branches of my apple tree planted some fifty odd years ago by a careless apple consumer. Who knew!

    All the best,

    Victor

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    • This is another beautiful piece of writing, Victor. I know you have more like this and that there are lots of things going on in that wise young head of yours. Thank you for sharing this. I’ll edit it and clean it up. The original on my e-mail transferred with no machine-made copying errors. I visit the beaver pond at Mactaquac with Clare and there is such a simple beauty there. Our lakes and ponds, big and small, are wonderful.

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  3. When my dad passed, a wise friend put it to me that birth was a death, death was a birth, and everything in the middle is sojourning. I have never looked at it the same way. I do think those moments in the “bubble” offer a good place for our poetic hearts to observe the journey. Lots to think about in this piece, Roger. Thanks for sharing it.

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    • It was such a funny thing to write, all sort of up in the air airy-fairy. There are times like these, though, and we all live through them in one way or another. I am not sure, even now, exactly what I am writing about. That said, the images of one person’s happiness and ten the ambulances passing ….

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