This world of dew
Is only a world of dew.
Lady Dainogon “The Color of the Moon “
The Georgia sun is making me sweat almost instantly as I start my barefoot old guy jog around the parade field. I run barefoot. I like to feel the sand of the two mile track under my feet as I run. I don’t run for two miles, I wouldn’t; lie to you about that. I’d lie to you about other things, but at my age, physical prowess is unnecessary. I need to get to my coffee shop and do some writing, so this afternoon with the heat nearing 100 a mile is challenge enough. I’m getting old and a little thick. People are calling me Jerry Garcia. They mean it with affection, but the name sticks because
more and more I’m starting to look like Jerry Garcia in the last year or two of his life.
I love to run barefoot. I love to walk barefoot. I love to fool myself that I’m pushing my limit as I hop forward, you can barely call it running. After about fifty yards or so, I have to slow down and walk.
I love this track. I’ve written a lot of stories in my head walking around this path in a more leisurely way with a notebook. Especially at night. A dirt two mile track with overhead lights is a surreal place to walk in the dark with your thoughts.
I first began walking this track about a good ten years or so ago. It was a different time. I was suffering a lot then. I wasn’t good company for anyone. Myself especially. I have a memory of suffering. I have y memories of suffering,which I invoke to remind myself that I have suffered in the past but these days aren’t that bad at all. I was also more adventurous then. I wonder if the two things go together. Now I play it safe and try to stay comfortable.
An old man tends to exaggerate the pleasures of youth. It helps to have kept a diary for a long time, to keep the memory honest. When you’re 25 you think you’ll never die, when you’re 65, you know you will. And yet, as Issa says. And yet. I can remember suffering much more at that time. I can remember envying dogs lying in the shade of summer, and wishing I could be them. Thinking their life must be better, or at least simpler than mine. I envied dogs. I can remember cursing God, though I’m not sure why I felt that way at the time. I think I know, but it doesn’t come to mind easily, I have to fish around for the reason.
I was never suicidal, exactly. But I was passively suicidal. Indifferent to survival. If a fatal disease came to carry me off, I didn’t think I wanted to fight it. Now, I find myself more than content to live. In fact, even as I am more aware of my mortality, more aware of how the people and things we love sooner or later disappear downstream, the world is made of dew that vanishes with the rising of the sun, and yet. There are these fleeting moments of joy. Even exuberance. I know someday that will pass too. I know better than to feel triumphant. We have these things for a while, but they’re
very fragile, as they must be.
I won go into detail about what has changed or how the change was brought about. That will be no comfort foranyone reading this going through something anyway. And maybe if I start giving advice that will be the moment mybubble will pop. It’s enough to know that the sun does rise. Maybe sooner for some than for others, but there is always the possibility of sun. I would refer readers to a post I made years ago here called The Mook in Me. There was so much blood on the page that folks here became afraid for me. Me too. I don’t want to go back to that time. I suppose suffering makes one grow, but I’m content not to grow for a while. I feel there may be a staleness in me, but I’m in no hurry to fix it. I am content.