The world is coming back. I’m having trouble believing that we are now in the middle of 2021. Time has flown past at an unbelievable speed. It feels to me as if the last “real” year was 2019.
It’s good to be back in the world. It’s good to see live people laughing outside. Having a barbecue. Serving potato salad by a slowly rolling river. It’s refreshing that it’s raining again.
The world is incredibly green. Our front garden has things growing in it I’ve never seen before, not even as weeds. I have no idea what they are, whether they will flower or just turn to seeds.
Even better, there’s no sign that we are going to be invaded by cicadas. We’ve already been invaded twice by gypsy moth caterpillars, so NOT getting trillions of giant flying insects whose only goal in life is to fornicate (insect-style), then dig back into the earth for another 17 years. I’m just happy they are somewhere else!
What did you learn the hard way?
Pretty much everything. But to be fair, I don’t think there’s an easy way to learn about life and how to live it. Even with the best advice from the wisest people in your life, you will still need to learn how to live well with others, how to produce your best work in an office or at home. None of this stuff is learned by classroom work or through advice, though advice and studies can help.
You learn real stuff by doing it. Then doing it again until you get really good at it. Some things, like all forms of art, music, writing — you are never done learning it the hard way. Each time you write a book or an essay or paint another picture, it’s a learning process. You take all your previous experience and apply it to the new project.
I don’t think the hard way IS the hard way. It’s just how we learn. We make mistakes. We fail, we try again. We get better, then we try again. Our efforts are not always appreciated but that’s not the point.
We know when we’ve done it right. When we’ve produced something exceptional. It doesn’t mean that we’ll never do anything better because we probably will, but when we exceed our previous best efforts, we know we’ve done well.
I’ve never found it easy, but I’ve often found it deeply satisfying and never felt the time involved was wasted.
Which activities make you lose track of time?
Reading. Writing. Taking pictures. Playing bridge.
Why do we seem to think of others the most after they’re gone?
I don’t. I think about them the most while they are in the process of dying, something which has happened often in recent years. Age is catching up with us and everyone has something that is or might be potentially lethal.
After someone I care about passes, I miss them. Especially when something happens in which they would have usually been involved. I miss my mother — even after all these years — when something happens and I know she would have found it interesting. I miss friends who are gone because I know they will never call me again or even drop a comment onto a blog.
But. I don’t obsess about people who are gone. I think that we need to live forward. The occasional reminiscence is lovely, but it’s not a lifestyle. Yesterday is done. Tomorrow could become anything. Loss is inevitable. We will all eventually be gone and the older we are, the sooner that “eventually” is likely to be.
Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
I’m not sure what that means. I think that science, statistics, studies are truth. I don’t think you need to challenge your doctor when he prescribes medication unless you know something about it that he doesn’t know — or something about your ability to tolerate that medication he doesn’t know.
But challenge reality? Challenge science? Why? Just to be contrary? Because you think that you know more than everyone else about absolutely everything? It never — for example — crossed my mind to “challenge” vaccinations for COVID-19. Why not? Because vaccinations have saved humanity from a wide variety of diseases that used to kill us before we were old enough to challenge anything.
It’s a proven fact that vaccinations work. I take a lot of medications. I look them up to get additional information, but it’s not a challenge. It’s just research and background information.
If you have to challenge everything, you are going to spend most of your life looking for answers that already exist and have long since been proven. That seems to me to be a massive waste of time and energy that could be put to much better use.
Yesterday, Garry and I were out in the park along the canal. Usually, the place is empty or nearly empty. Sometimes you bump into a few few photographers or people walking their dogs. Or hikers.
Yesterday, half of Uxbridge had found their way to the park. I’ve never seen it so busy. We got to chatting with various strangers, often about what we had done during the lockdown and vaccination. And how lucky we are to live in a state where most people have had the smarts to get vaccinated as soon as they were able.
It was a happy crowd of people. They were picnicking, fishing, kayaking. Walking dogs. There was a lot of laughter.
Our parks are never crowded, but this time, there were a lot of people. The adjacent parking lot was almost full — on a Sunday! I think that after more than a year of spending every day locked in the house, depending on computers and other devices and seeing little of other people in the flesh, everyone wants to go out and play. Everyone is glad to be alive, outside, breathing real air.
If nothing else was accomplished during the long COVID siege, if people put down their electronic gizmos and discover the real world, we’ve made some real strides towards remembering how to be human.