Friday, January 22, 2016

A Ghastly Mistake

"We must get the truth for ourselves. There may be two explanation for this. It might be that humanity, in rebelling against tradition and authority, has made a ghastly mistake; a mistake which will not be the less fatal because the corruption of those in authority rendered it very excusable. On the other hand, it may be that the Power which rules our species is at this moment carrying out a daring experiment. Could it be intended that the whole mass of the people should now move forward and occupy for themselves those heights which were once reserved only for the sages?  Is the distinction between wise and simple to disappear because all are now expected to become wise? If so, our present blunderings would be  but growing pains. But let us make no mistake about our necessities. If we are content to go back and become humble plain men obeying a tradition, well. If we are ready to climb and struggle on till we become sages ourselves, better still. But the man who will neither obey wisdom in others nor adventure for her/himself is fatal. A society where the simple many obey the few seers can live: a society where all were seers could live even more fully. But a society where the mass is still simple and seers are no longer attended to can achieve only superficiality, baseness, ugliness, and in the end extinction. On or back we must go; to stay here is death."   C.S. Lewis - Miracles

Friday, January 15, 2016

Pearls of Wisdom Teeth

I got my lower wisdom teeth pulled this Thursday. That's the short way of saying I'm writing this post while my entire head is in intense pain. That's partly because I hate the way painkillers make me feel and I get off them as fast as I can and partly because I'm fortunate to have very strong, healthy teeth that require exceptional effort to extract from my head, especially when they're growing in sideways like bulldozers.

The conversation between the surgeon and his assistant (or the heavy drilling, cracking and yanking) should have been a solid clue about how how much trauma was actually happening. But anesthetic made it seam like a bit of an exaggeration at the time. Turns out anesthetic affects judgment as well as nerves. Besides causing you to underestimate what's going on, it also causes you to think you don't need more anesthetic.

I've replaced my usual diet of anything that doesn't eat me first with soft, watery things that must be precisely 98.6' or my jaw threatens to explode on contact. Never thought I would be so happy to see oatmeal for dinner. On that train of thought, one redeeming thing about strong pain killers is they also kill your appetite and any profuse drooling that goes along with simultaneously being ravenous and unable to feel your tongue and lower lip. There's a certain irony to not being allowed to eat for ten hours before a surgery that leaves you unable to eat afterward. It's the little things.

An incomplete list of things I'm thankful for today includes: skilled surgeons, vacation pay, ice (outside my mouth), a comfortable couch, a safe home where I can stare blankly into space (more than usual), Netflix when staring into space gets old and drinkable protein. I'm truly blessed.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Hobby Blunder

I recently finished a project that was consuming a lot of my time and replaced it with a bit more of my aquarium hobby. I've taken to discus this time around. They didn't take to me quite as well as I took to them. To be more precise, I was ecstatic about the beauty and movement they added to my tank until the movement became death somersaults about five minutes after they hit the water and their colors became different shades of gray and black (that's generally bad for a fish that's supposed to be iridescent blue).

The problem with discus is they hate water that's not perfect (hate as in they'll die to prove the point). So I didn't have quite enough oxygen or warm enough water, right? Who cares? I do! I spent way to much on these fish (Laugh at me now. Your hobby blunder is coming). And the resident population of inconsiderate fish in my tank didn't warn me about this. They've adapted to my incompetence (like my wife) and didn't think the problem was worth mentioning anymore.

Fortunately, fresh air does as much for fish as it does for me. An emergency water change and lots of aeration saved the day. Now they're swimming around happily sporting their colors and polluting my water without protest. Except for one. He went to the light and donated his mortal body as fertilizer. Why do I pay for this?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Last of the Firsts

Time waits for no one, but governs them all, steady at their side.
A friend, a foe, a rhythm, a familiar foreign stride.
It takes us were we would not go, not here, not now,
And then beyond it.
A first, a last, another trying round.
And then beyond it.

Who ever comprehends its passing, how children grow when we're away.
Who ever comprehends our passing, how we were them but couldn't stay.
Dust in graves, in jars, on winds, in waters,
And then beyond it
Memorials, legacies, eulogies to be remembered,
And then beyond it.

The last of the firsts will go. A year will carry it away.
So quickly, the future that we feared becomes yesterday.
Pain yields to peace. Despair to hope. In part to in full,
And then beyond it.
Time is the hand that holds the flesh. Eternity holds the soul,
And then beyond it.