Saturday, August 31, 2013
Wandering the Taklamakan Desert
My friends who know me know that sometimes my eyes go distant and I can fade off, sometimes even in the midst of conversation, though I do my best to not drift when I am an active participant in a conversation but rather when I am more an outlier sitting in a chair or a counter somewhere off, nearby. My mind is constantly afloat in fiction and in history, often crossing the two, weaving various stories I have created, some alone and some with others. These stories are a constant background in my life. The overshadow all the hours, regardless of my intention to leave or stay with them. Any more I do not fight it one way or the other. If I have time to go and sit with a pen and paper or with my computer to put their stories on page, well, with kids this has become a background possibility. Sometimes I have time, but more often than not, I do not. Not if I want to be present with my kids. These years go fast. Speed suddenly takes on a new meaning, especially if you are not helping direct. I want in on this phase of their lives, because it is a ball... a fast moving, often bouncing, accelerating, sometimes spinning, twisting, crashing, but bouncing again, ball. But I have no choice to bring stories with me. They are part of my brain, and I can't leave them, even if I try, in fact, even more if I try, which I have. It doesn't work. Currently I'm in Central Asia. British and Russian explorers. Peter Hopkins, The Great Game, "The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia." I finished the book one week ago. I have been reading it since April. I have read many parts of it numerous times and I have finally come to the end. I might pick it up again tonight anyway. I don't really know what to do with myself now that I have finished it, and the only possible satisfaction I think I can find is to order its prequel, a deviating tale from the same vein, a capillary. Nothing else seems to satisfy my mind as I think of this time and this place, and these sights and these smells. I am drawn to these high altitude explorers, or rather, explorers whose arena was areas that happen to possess extremely high and intense mountains. The unmapped territories. In other news to review, it seems we might be bombing more people in yet another country soon. A real bummer. Today I was driving Grandma to Lanton. As we crossed over one of the passes in the mountains, my Uhaul revved into a lower gear, working hard as I asked it to pass an even slower semi. Across the concrete median I saw a wolf, a dead dog, something dog like my eyes registered, but it didn't make sense, it looked like a giant Great Pyrenees. Then I saw the stopped RV, pulled off the highway into one of the many wide pullouts intended for people putting chains on their tires. Another Great Pyrenees, running towards its dead friend, an unrealized corpse, and the owners, frantically calling their second dog trying to keep it away from the same fate. The sight made me gasp and Gretel asked what I saw. It took me a few moments to collect exactly what it was that I had just seen, passed so quickly in the other direction. Those poor strangers. The fucking poor strangers whose day just went from a peaceful RV pulling drive through paradise, stopping to pee and let the dogs out to do the same, and then suddenly it ends so quickly and tragically for one of their party. Fucking terrible day. I explain it to Gretel as I am processing and she agrees, they will be sad, but I am relieved at the fact that she clearly doesn't see the dreadful pain that comes with older age, the more viperous sting inflicted by love lost, forever. So when the news tells me that Obama is thinking about bombing more people I can not help but feel a terrible burn, even though I admittedly force it away and keep my distance, because with all the news we have the potential of feeding ourselves, I dare not try to ingest it all thoroughly. As we who have been with this web since before its inception, we have had to learn to adapt to this influx of information. For younger minds, they are being brought into it from birth, and are trained by us on how to adapt to the mega-load of information. There was no one to help us figure it out, we are the ones who were simply at the age of experimentation. I really hope we don't bomb Syria.