Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hi, remember me...

Again, I must apologize for the dearth of posts.  I have been struggling with writer's ennui and it has been very difficult for me to just do it.  The fact that my computer crashed, we have been sick/travelling/job hunting/home hunting/purpose hunting, etc. factors in, but they are all just things that excuses are made of, and I know that you don't want to hear excuses.

We have spent our time in the north and will be soon returning to the civilized lands of the big city.  We have learned quite a bit up here, and there is much that I will miss, however, there is much that I will not miss.  Having said that, let's focus on the positive.

A few months ago, we had a total lunar eclipse; some of you may remember it.  It was an exciting experience for us, but especially for my son.  Not only because he got to stay up past 01:00, and not only because he got to hang out with mom and dad (assuming he would find this exciting), but also because it was his first lunar eclipse.  We lay on the living room floor with our heads as close to the window as possible.  It was a fairly slow process, but a very cool one.  When the moon was fully eclipsed and red, my wife and son decided that they could no longer keep their eyes open, so they went to bed.  I chose to stay up a little longer.  I went outside and looked up at a sky that was filled with stars.  When I looked at the moon, my heart jumped.  Hanging in the sky, with stars forming an intricate pattern around and behind it, was the shadow encrusted moon.  It was beautiful.  It was also unlike anything that I had ever seen or experienced before.  I stood their and stared, not wanting to close my eyes.  I took pictures, knowing that they would never come close to what I was experiencing but wanting to try anyway, and then I just stood there a little longer.  After a while, but before the moon moved out of shadow, I went back into the house with this perfect memory planted in my head.

I would not have experienced this in the city.

No way.

Wildlife is abundant up here; both big and small.  One morning, when I was leaving for work, I stepped out the back door and what did I see?  A loose board hanging from my roof.  I called my wife and asked her if she knew how long that had been like that.  I was staring fixedly at the board, when my wife gasped.  I looked at her, and she pointed and whispered, "There."  I turned my head to the direction she was pointing and standing there was a very large moose.  We stood and watched this moose, that was no more than ten feet away, munching on the trees, or whatever.  We grabbed the video camera, and our digital camera and began recording the moment.  After a while, the moose became aware of its audience and slowly began to move away after trying to stare us down.

That same morning, as I was driving to work, a mouse ran up my leg, and down the other side... I originally thought it was my phone vibrating, I remember thinking, "but why was it vibrating against my inner thigh, and not on the outside where it normally sits in my pocket?"  I looked down to find out, and discovered that it was not my phone at all.

I could continue, and in other posts I will, but now I must put paid to this topic and move on for a bit.  We will miss the country.  However, we will also be glad to be back where we understand the rules and know how things work.  Although we will be moving back to a very noisy, hectic, and sometimes chaotic world, it will be comfortable in many ways.  We know where to go and where not to go.  We know when things are open and when things are closed. We know we can have clean water from the tap instead of seeing leeches in the filter container, and we know that - most likely, we won't have to leave mousetraps in the car.  We will miss the beauty, serenity, and often wonderful experiences that can only be had up here, but the north is always going to be here, and we can always return to visit.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Life has a way...

It's 16:30 (4:30 for those of you who don't read 24 hour clockese) and it's Friday.  Normally, I would heave a big sigh of relief and think TGIF.  However, weekends have become somewhat more crazy than my weekdays.  Actually, they are about the same, so I guess that means that TGIF has got up and went.  While it is wenting somewhere else, I will say instead, "So Far, So Good."

I won't lie, I have been feeling stressed and under the gun lately, and I am less than sure when that is going to change.  The good news is that I said 'when' and not 'if'.  Change is, as they say, inevitable.  However, the form that that particular change will take is an unknown.  I have come to believe that the unknown is not only good, but entirely necessary.  Not only would knowing the future ruin the surprise, it would probably keep us as unhappy and miserable as it is possible to be.  I know what anticipatory anxiety is, and I can tell you that  it is almost always wrong.  There have been very few times when things have been as bad or worse than I have feared them to be, and this has taught me to not only have a little faith, but to also believe that something good is around the corner waiting for me.  I can't imagine what life would be like if I knew that someone was going to mug me, or how blase those wonderful moments in life would become if I was never taken by surprise.

Now let me be clear, I'm not talking about the "I-know-what-is-going-to-happen-so-I-can-change-it" type of future, I'm talking about the "I-know-what-is-going-to-happen-and-there-is-nothing-that-I-can-do-about-it" type future.  It's kind of like watching a movie and you can clearly see that the defenseless young protagonist is going to walk into a dark alley infested with thugs and have a very nasty experience, and all of your yelling and waving at the screen is not going to change a thing. 

What am I trying to say... it comes down to this: Life has a way of balancing and juggling events and experiences that would put the best circus performer to shame.  Knowing what is to come takes the joy and pleasure out of experience, and if we are not here to experience, then what's the point.  Yes, I am one of those... I believe in purpose and reasons for existence, and I believe that no matter what happens, we benefit from all of our experiences, especially the ones we don't see coming.  I won't say that I will always be happy, and that there won't be a certain amount of sorrow and hardship in life, but as I said before existence is one big balancing act and life has a way...