Friday, April 25, 2014


“You know those lonely nights and weekends when you're left to your own devices and forced to entertain yourself? Maybe you ponder the meaning of life, maybe you tackle a creative project or maybe you -- wait, let's face it: You probably turn on Netflix. Well your dog faces the same lonely existential crisis and his solution is, naturally, solo fetch.” (from HuffPost 2014/04.23)

Alone and lonely are not the same, at least, not yet, though one of these days only one of us will come home from the hospital. But “existential crisis,” dogs too? So, how to speak from there at two o’clock in the morning without saying too much? Is this itchy spot on my left wrist a mosquito bite so early in the season, or is it a flea bite from yesterday out working in the yard? What woke me up so early this day? Well, the usual plus a glass of icy cold chardonnay on the back porch before supper of watermelon and three grapes, a composite that would rouse anyone; so relatively speaking, it isn’t all that early. But the open door letting in the salty cool also admits persistent buzzing from the shrimp boat out on the bay, preventing re-sleep, stirring wakefulness and memories. Door ajar, time to close it. WTH, get up. 

Wakefulness and memories: some go very far back, again relative to whether it’s the news of Hubble spotting planets forming, or my own life. Brought on by the buzzing, an intermediate memory is a parishioner’s son who was a shrimper parking his pickup out front and knocking on the rectory door just after dawn: he had been out all night, had a good catch, did I want some shrimp? Large ones, their feet moving like centipedes on a treadmill, mindlessly still scooting along the bottom of Apalachicola Bay. Nevermind what they feed on. I’ve written about him before, him and his truck and his shrimp. But some predawn early memories are not written, now nor never. Remember but not record. Is this existential crisis or just existentialism? To apply the word again, it’s composite, a mix. My Australian clients said comp-o-zit not com-pozit, but that was a thousand lifetimes ago in my between-times, and we were talking about aerospace, not life.

Purposefully to divert, existential crisis is whether to continue staring at the spinning beachball or step outside on the concrete and smash the MacBook to smithereens. Yesterday it might have been step and smash, predawn it’s press restart until it happens. Press and hold, and no flowers.

As for existentialism, one may define it to suit oneself. I like what Soren K. supposedly said, each individual is solely responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately and sincerely, which is authenticity, the degree to which one is true to one’s own self -- to one’s personality, character, values, loves, and being instead of catering to others. If that sounds like gibberish or USG gobbledygook, it isn’t. It means I’m on my own, I can’t delegate responsibility for my happiness to others. Anyone who studied management in college remembers that you cannot delegate responsibility anyway, you can delegate authority, but responsibility remains. As in “the buck stops here.”

This was a good one, except in this case the pointy-haired boss was right, Dilbert is wrong. Wally is Wally with the punchline.

Where is this going? Down a road that’s clear to me even if the rest of the world is fogged in. Existentialism applied to existential crisis. In time, doors ajar close themselves, slammed shut by the wind, or fate, or death and the grave.

Today then: sermonize, meeting, MLP, Greenwood, check my gas. Maybe swing by 205: I said love, Robert said reverence.


Dilbert comicstrip 20140419

CoveSchool/HNES from Linda Avenue, 20140424

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