Tuesday, January 06, 2009

in the break, at the height of indolence, i have tons to do, & can't force myself to do any of it. though i did take my son to the doctor; it took all day; he was ok, just had to be checked, and mostly got out of school, learned how to play "dots" and perfected tic-tac-toe strategy in an doctor's office where you had to wait the usual 40-50 minutes and they didn't even apologize for burning your time. at the end the doctor just stood there, as if he was waiting for me to lay into him for his approach, but i didn't. he gave me a few minutes to say my piece, but i didn't; we just left, drove home, across southern illinois, and back to school for him. it's very cold here, but i went for a walk anyway, later tonight when the boys were in bed; this time down to the fam-vid movie place, where we had to return a couple. a long walk, put a sting in my ears, but upon my return, more indolence, laying around, basically fishing through facebook, finding old friends & reading what they're up to.

now this is an incredibly fascinating time-sink, wending one's way through friends and friends of friends, former students, former colleagues, friends from way back who know other friends from way back, friends who moved far away, or who just got married, who may or may not remember me. fishing through friends of friends is but one of the addictive activities one can indulge in, though. there's also chatting with whoever of one's friends & family might happen to be online, or the "live feed"-or, in my case, just figuring out how i can find my own wall, which i buried at one point because people were putting things i didn't like on it, and i was letting it go for months at a time. now it's gone; people put stuff on it, but i can't see it, and i can't get it back; it's buried beneath the "live feed" and newly posted whatever. now that it's break, i'll read whatever people put there, maybe twice a day, as i'm picking up the computer a lot, the kids turn on a movie & i get a minute, i tune in to the "live feed," see some of my old friends, from way back, right at the edge of my fingertips. but i'm all quo, no status; mostly i just read.

my photos at the photo-storage reappeared finally, and, in a roundabout way, an explanation from the company that it was all just technical, not bankruptcy or market-crash. the one blog that did comment on it a little became a focal point for lots of other people's comments; people were searching worldwide for answers. three days is not much, in the big picture; in the world of server-transfer, technical glitch, it was probably nothing; in my world of on-break, pop-art-sharpen junkie, though, it was three months, three years at least of "live feed" ghost-window picture-vanish panic. I saw the dead rectangles, a whole pop-art-blog full of them, every time i went anywhere online; it was like the dead tree forest in iowa, or a ghost town of color memories, and it paralyzed me. the temporal nature of the cyberworld, is what it is, and it's scary. "it could happen to blogger too," someone said, and they're right- where's my backup? don't have one. and the web archive doesn't go this far, out into conversation-land, there's really nobody to save it but me. and why would anyone? it's just me blabbing for the most part, though i do roll out a story once in a while. nothing my loved ones haven't heard at least a dozen times.

a friend writes and asks my opinion about the nature of the soul when it is between lives, when it is not in the body. how should i know? i have a superstition against even discussing it. i know there's an answer, yet, it's kind of like looking at those blank white rectangles with the little x marked in them- no, you can't have the image, it's not available to you. one of these days, they'll change the server on you, and then what? but, through fb, found out about another old friend, a woman in kansas, she lived just down a kansas-flat, plain road from a hospital, yet still had her fifth baby at home; it was better. babies are all grown now, just like mine, who, there in kansas, had the great flood of '93, the yom kippur flood of pittsburg kansas, descend on his birthday, cancelling his party, leaving people stranded all over town. she, the mother, died, as it turns out, in a car accident in tennessee about a year ago, but, the spirit lives on, i can say that. out there, i used to walk to missouri occasionally; it was only three or four miles; the train would wail a ways over, and there was nothing out there to block the sound. at the missouri line i'd see an old fireworks sign, if it was summer, or just a welcome to missouri sign, but i'd turn around and come back; three miles was enough. you don't want to spend too much time on those lines between north and south, union and confederate, if you can avoid it, or you'll forget who you are, which side you started out on. you'll forget whether it really matters. they still talk here about times when cousins fought cousins, brothers against brothers, in the great war, everyone took sides, but mostly folks just tried to stay alive, live through a few very cold winters. up in the plains of northwest iowa there was a tiny town called gaza (gay-za, they pronounced it)- now why did i have to mention that? only because, we haven't had a whole lot of wars in these parts, since the big one, and that's good, but we shouldn't forget the way people keep having them- war begets war, and that begets more war, and it just keeps on going. was there a reason? did self-determination have anything to do with it?

i indulge, in my break- a whole day, with very little to show for it, except a game of dots. it's actually approaching the true christmas, the twelfth day, the old believer's christmas, and i'm determined to hold out until the last minute; take a true break this year, and maybe crack a few divs and tables (web-walnuts), but then, mostly, just organize my stuff like i would do a jigsaw puzzle, which is another thing i'm indulging in. stuff that feels good on the fingers, and lets the mind rest. as an old believer, i would be opposed to all change in religious doctrine- the change that made the orthodox church, let alone the change that then made the catholic one, and then, the one after that that made all the protestant ones. let alone, the ones after that. but i would also say, and this has nothing to do with old believers- no, if there's a purgatory, or a place between lives, i know nothing of it. i know what happens between st. louis and kansas city, but that's different. why would the soul be any different, if it had a body or not? does actually having a body, tend to make us take this idea of war, a little more seriously? force us to take one side or the other? as i go through southern illinois, through the bleak gray landscape, the lowland marshes pushing down on history, i point out to my son, if i can, notable historical spots. but you have to be careful; people drive too fast on the main roads. on the back roads, there's even more history, but you have to be careful there too. i'm keeping this body & soul together, as long as i can, & do it for the kids, who still have a ways to go in this world. i've got to let go of it- the wars, the stress, the traffic, & religions i know nothing of, and just rest. it's a small window of rest; the holiday coming is known as the feast of the epiphany, and, if i get a minute, i'll look it up. feasts are good. they give me something to do with my hands.

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