October 30, 2004

I am grateful for the voices

Paul, simply beautiful:

"I said in comments to someone else's blog a few days ago, that some months ago, I'd taken in a young dog, and had become aware that if his life expectancy is normal for his species, there is a fair chance he will outlive me; in other words, I'm no longer the middle aged guy I've described myself as being for some time, I'm a guy on his last dog."


"But in the pocket microscope, I caught a glimpse of that old scar, and found it had a complexity and strangeness I've long ignored. In a strong light, I examined it freshly through the little lens, and looked anew at its spidery, faint contours, memories carved in my flesh of my own various stupidities, but a record I didn't control in its making, that is its own map of that day. I became momentarily fascinated by the rest of my hand, marked all over with the bad outcomes of accidents, investigations, and procedures or equipment not well enough understood. My hands are ugly enough at the normal scale, but examined a millimeter at a time, they are each a living horror, tolerable only for being abstract in their grotesquery, under a twenty power lens. After more than fifty years of living, I realized that there is no part of my left hand that hasn't been, at some time or another, at least superficially injured. That hand is literally one big collection of small, forgotten scars, but continues to stubbornly embody a stoic power for its functions. And I thought that was a pretty good description of my larger self, as well. I am become, all over, scARboi, stubbornly plodding along."


"For better or worse, I am the subject of all my pictures, even those in which I'm nowhere visible."


And Jessamyn, simply beautiful:

"I drive past a beaver dam on my way to work. It's in a little lake area and looks quite lovely, set against the foliage backdrop, very rural, picturesque. Today when I drove by I could see that it had new sticks on it. Someone actually lived there. This wasn't stunt nature, this was the beavers living nearby, and doing their beaver things. It's one thing to have a little tree sticking out of a sidewalk that provides some shade and stands in for the forests that used to be where the newspaper boxes now are...."


"I read a book recently about how to co-exist with wild animals. The author starts from the position that at some level, we have moved into the homes of the wild animals, so we should not be surprised that they see our territory as theirs. All of this is just a roundabout way of saying that I like living here, where the beaver builds its home within viewing distance of the road, and where the bear eats the fish that we think we can just "grow" for ourselves."