Blacksburg, VA, by zachstern (FCC)
“All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.” ~ Aristotle
Late Saturday afternoon. Overcast, low 50’s.
Second day on antibiotics. My chest still feels as if it’s in a vise, though. The cough is more painful today than anytime in the last week. Go figure. Still, I thought that I would try to bang out a post. We’ll see how far this goes.
By the way, do you like the new header? It’s from a photograph that I took last February when Brett and I were wandering around Forest Lawn Cemetery. Let me know.
I’ve had to restart the computer twice so far today. Perhaps computers are like people in that as they get older, they are more affected by the weather: cold and damp, hard to move . . . Perhaps I am anthropomorphizing again. Probably the latter.
I woke up to migraines today and yesterday, or it might be more accurate to say that the migraines awakened me. I don’t know if the Botox is already wearing off or if the bronchitis cough is the cause. I’m really hoping that I have at least another month on the Botox. It would really suck if the shots only lasted for less than six weeks.
I had planned to decorate the house this weekend, but that’s going to have to wait. Maybe sometime this week, but Corey has to work the next five days in a row, so I’m not sure if decorating will happen. More of the wait and see mode. He also has his biology final this Thursday, so it will be a very busy week for him.
ODU finals start next week and then break. Eamonn already had his final in medical terminology. I’m so glad that he finished at least one of the classes; of course, both would have been nice, but I’ll take what I can get at this point.
“Out of my wounds they have made stars:
Each is an eye that looks on you” ~ James K. Baxter, from Howrah Bridge
I’ve been thinking about stars. I’ve had a lot of sky pictures show up on my tumblr dash recently, some really beautiful shots of galaxies, nebulas, night skies. I want to live somewhere that in which I can look up and see a myriad of stars and galaxies, unpolluted by lights from the city and the suburbs. I want to be able to drink in the heavens, the boundless beauty of light and color.
I remember when I was in graduate school in Blacksburg, we lived in an apartment on a hill, and the night view seemed to stretch on forever. I remember the sound of the train horn echoing in the middle of the night. Sounds from sirens were few and far between. Life was so completely effortless then: school, studies, friends. Open spaces and cold mountain air. We lived on $7500 a year, and that was probably the best year in my marriage to my ex.
After that, life intervened. Obligations to people and things mounted. Possessions grew. Simplicity faded away and never returned. When we are in the midst of happiness, we never realize it. Few of us are in touch with ourselves enough to know that this moment here, this experience, is perfection, that this slice of life will never be replicated, can never again come close to the periphery of our existence.
Retrospect alone offers us truth and perspective. The now slips away, eludes us—we are such transient creatures, appreciating more that which we have already lived.
“We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea. Without words they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea.” ~ Paul Tillich
A few memories of that time:
- Eating homemade Brunswick stew by an open fire with other graduate students from the department
- Crying as I walked through a snowfall after learning that John Lennon had been killed
- Making a bottle of wine last longer than possible
- Driving my car into a vast countryside, completely undeveloped, almost getting lost
Don’t misunderstand. I do not long for the relationship with my ex, but I do long for that simplicity. I long for the hunger I had back then, a constant hunger for new things, new tastes, new smells, new people.
I approached life so differently then. It’s not the youth that I long for, but perhaps the openness of youth. Not to be so jaded. Not to be so cynical. Not to be completely inured to life’s foibles.
I don’t know. I seem to be rambling. I cannot quite grasp the words to describe what it is that I am thinking. Sorry. I’m not sure if I can finish this post. I had thought that I knew what I wanted to say, but . . .
I’ll try again tomorrow. I know the poem is long, but it seemed appropriate.
More later. Peace.
Music by J. S. Bach, “Cello Suite No. 1, i, Prelude, performed by Mischa Maisky
Finding the Space in the Heart