Friday, October 7, 2016

One Waves at Flies

Chaos and fractals invigorate. We love energy! Nature rearranging itself excites or at least provokes interest. Stasis, eventually, is boring. Action, if a story is to progress, needs to come early. And so, late last night in rain-drenched dark and along the wind-swept and leaf bestrewn Lagoon Road down to our beach, we drove with a certain privilege, ensconced in our warm car. It "was a dark and stormy night," and the howling winds wrestled with the trees and battered at the buildings. This was not Haiti. It was not Florida. It was simply those six or seven foot waves bashing themselves up in furious froths against our usually tranquil Colwood Bay. And with our car's headlights on high-beam (as well as with quite a few other cars parked there too,) the sea was lit up in its dramatic anguish. Out there, somewhere far-far off, huge winds and waves were creating more damage and resulting in more deaths than we possibly could countenance. Only in the aftermath shall we see the effect on our own beach, are we likely once again to regroup.

Yet the fly became the biggest bedeviller of our night. A loud buzzer, it crawled the walls above the TV and disturbed our enjoyment of an episode of 'The Good Wife'. And each time its black dot settled on the white wall I thought to rise and capture it. I've succeeded with other flies. A clear glass and a stiff piece of paper to slide carefully under the orifice once the spider or ant or fly is enclosed, securely does the deed. One can then escort the thing out. But it was already the late hour of 9:30pm, and the weather outside was dreadful! Poor fly. So I did not rise and disturb my own inertia. I wanted to. But I did not. I was tired! And then, at about 9:45, my wife suggested we drive down to the beach. "The waves will be nice and big!"she expostulated, so....

But by the eleventh hour I'd had enough of that fly. Back in the warm house, it'd followed us into the bedroom, buzzed busily and annoyingly over and about and around our faces, crawled along exposed arms, and occasionally tap-tapped at the ceiling with its efforts to get at the light. It did not appreciate the door temporarily opened for it. It did not allow me to get close enough to capture it. And so, frustrated by the prospect of a disturbed sleep, I at last reached into our laundry basket for a used towel and went after it with a regretful vengeance. Killing things was something I'd learned to unlearn. But when it comes to mosquitoes, or some flies, well...

"I was too young when I abandoned my mother," Morrie Shwartz shares with Mitch, his former student from sixteen years ago. "And you were too young too, when your uncle needed you. We did what we were able to do!" Yes, along with forgiveness of the self, as well as compassion and awareness of another's point of view, we come to each moment in time only with all that we have in that given moment. And yet, towel in hand, and several ineffectual whacks later, I could not reach the culprit. All it did was eventually dart aside into the bowl of the ceiling light fixture, and there, since I heard not further sound nor saw again a sighting of it, I presume it died. Ugh!

But I thought a long time about that thing. And about all those so drastically affected by the storm off the coast of the USA. And I wondered at how all the future of the possible progeny of that particular fly, and then too of the very many people who died in the damage wrought by the big and brutal waves of nature, could so be yoked to chance and circumstance and location and even to an Other's intentions. We can help. We can save. We can avoid. And we can follow our instincts that'd have us get up off the couch and do something about life as much as possible, as early as possible, young as one may be. (Even if it is to arise and search out that which moves us, and to watch life with an interest and care and concern and momentum that gives one “peace with oneself, wherever one may be,” as Morrie says.) How else to change our very epigenetics? How else to affect the changes needed to wave after wave of our ancestral and individual habitations? How else to be as conscious as one can be of the significance of our lives to the future? Except perhaps, when disturbed by something as little and simple as a fly!

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