The good news is that my housemate the computer whiz has left the ISP where he worked in order to start his own business; this is exciting stuff. The bad news is that he's moved his computer into his room (which now doubles as his office), so it's no longer available for common use. We all used his computer for our internettish endeavors, and while I have a computer, it isn't at the moment connected to the vast mad worldwide web, so until I get it so connected, I don't have ready access. Which is why I'm typing this in my room tonight in hopes of posting it from the coffee shop computer tomorrow evening. If you're reading this, I succeeded. Yay, me!
Yesterday morning I was zipping along the two-lane curves to work when I saw a little turtle making its way across the road. Its little green head stretched out as it tentatively extended one slow leg. I was astonished-- the turtle had made it almost to the double yellow lines, across a whole lane unscathed. I'm accustomed to seeing a depressing amount of roadkill on the way to work, possums and cats and dogs-- creatures much faster than that turtle. I avoided hitting it by swerving out of the way, and in my rearview mirror saw it move another two inches before the curves took it away from sight. I thought about that turtle off and on all day, thinking it doomed. Turtles are simply too slow to cross the road, and it's a sad fact that there are lots of people in the world who would run one down just for spite (the same sort of people who create malicious email viruses-- just less technologically savvy). I fully expected to see mush and shell fragments on the ride home, and I was frankly dreading it. I like lizards and snakes and turtles the way some people like cats and dogs. The turtle never had a chance. Those roads are busy, especially at that time of the morning.
But I didn't see a trace of the turtle yesterday evening, and I choose to believe it made it across, that now it's found a pleasant wet place to nestle, and will live many, many more decades. That makes me happy.
I could try to make some optimistic philosophical point ("Sometimes, even when the odds are against you, you make it all the way!"-- you know what I mean), but that's not how it strikes me. I'm just glad the turtle didn't die, that my assumption that it would be hit proved wrong.
Sometimes little stuff can get you through the day.
One of my old professors (and current friends), this brilliant poet and philosopher and all-around wise counselor, has really talented children. His twin sons just finished their first year in New York-- one at Juliard, the other at the Manhattan School of Music. They play bass and drums. They're in Boone for the summer, and on Saturday I saw them playing jazz on King Street in front of the drug store, along with a saxophonist and trumpeter. I watched them for a while as the rain fell all around us. They're amazingly talented, and they love what they're doing-- when they took their solos, it was as if they'd left this world entirely, for a better place. Very nice. Life is full of such moments, these still points of focus and wonder and beauty. Sometimes they're brief and fleeting, sometimes they're few and far between... but every once in a while you get to stand outside and experience such a moment for as long as you like.
I love music. I have no aptitude for it, and lack the discipline to learn, but musicians impress me greatly. I've dabbled with instruments over the years, but I'm a fundamentally lazy person, and don't devote the necessary time. The only thing I seem willing or able to work at is writing...
Today, after a more-stressful-than-usual day at work (actually, just the last hour or so was stressful), I went to the coffee shop and stepped straight into a Discussion.
A couple philosophy majors and a couple feminists, discussing post-modernism, Platonism, cultural imperialism, and other such. After listening for a bit and determining that they weren't A)ignorant, B)belligerent, or C)incapable of expressing themselves clearly, I sat down and joined the talk. I used to get into this sort of thing in college, of course, but I hadn't gotten into such a conversation for a long time. Words like "empiricism" and "cultural relativism" getting thrown around. I had a lot of fun. Nobody agreed on anything. We all made friends.