- 18 nov
The Leonid meteor shower is due tonight, just in time to rescue me from the Small Picture.
The Small Picture is easy to focus on when you're me. Domestic details, guilt over chores undone, interruption by cat, the state of the yard, the state of the union, checking CNN to see if the Big One has gone off yet, all these minor lumps adhere to one another to form a ball in my gut that sits there and simmers, brews and spews acid and angst, and serves to distract me from the enormous, corrosive, overriding fact that my daughter's future is a giant question mark. The gut ball got bigger this past Saturday when Amy had another seizure, a very strong one, the first since the introduction of a new seizure med, and I think we've all had really quite enough now, thanks. So when pieces of comet come hurtling toward my planet at 140,000 miles per hour and burn up seemingly right over my tiny little head, it helps in shifting my view from Small Picture to Big Picture. It's that whole life cycle thing, that birth, death, cue the hyenas, what's-it-gonna-matter-in-a-thousand-years kinda thing.
Of course, every kid is a question mark to some extent. Our extent here is just a smidge more lengthy at the moment, lengthy like tendrils, like tentacles reaching out and tickling my own future, my own freedom to pursue my work. Am I a bad man, a bad father because I sit here and think about myself? Will my daughter be spending the rest of my life in the next room? Will she ever drive? Have a job? Marry? Right now I'll settle for a sentence well-spoken.
When the trouble overwhelms, and deficiencies are all you can think about, judging distances and time becomes almost impossible. Perspective changes, gets lost. What seems solid and forever can be gone in one brilliant flash. There is no wrong star. The heavens have no defect, and we are in them. To know that and yet be bound to a calendar of slow undetectable rotation can grip a man's spirit so tightly that he no longer remembers the feeling of a long deep breath.
"Everything Is Broken" -- Bob Dylan -- OH MERCY
"Beautiful, tender flowers grow upon the lava lips of Mono craters, pines ascend their ashy slopes, and it is just where the glaciers have crushed heaviest that the greatest quantity of beautiful life appears."
- John Muir