Been a while. Things happen. Some good. Some bad. Folks my age remember.
So, in my cloak of bouncing all over the place, this is a conglomeration of thoughts.
The dark has called me away for a while. i know, i know the dark is owned by me. i should control it. For the most part, i do. i tell myself bad to some degree happens to everyone. It’s inevitable. It’s life. Get up. Move on. Don’t let the dark catch you. Sometimes it does, at least sometimes it catches me. i get through it. Lots of experience. It makes it hard to write without whining. And i hate whining, although curmudgeons shine at whining.
Then, there was this other thing called a manuscript. It was mailed this morning to my editor, a princess. i finished the draft yesterday good enough to send to a princess. Oh, i know there will be lots more work: revisions, layouts, photos, etc., but it feels done. It only took about 36 years. Steel Decks and Glass Ceilings: A Memoir i call it.
And so the difficulties and the manuscript are handled, not gone, but handled.
i laid off for a while.
So it’s been a while. Hi.
And Southwest corner weather has been on my mind. Weird weather. Not disaster stuff like north of here where fire and smoke are literally destroying lives as folks have known it, or back home wet, or withering heat, or the northeast where tropical storms or hurricanes are wreaking havoc.
Southwest corner August has been weird. Clouds, humid, cool…er cooler. The marine layer, a denizen here in May and June has stuck around: Cloudy mornings, mist even, sun breaking in for several hours in the day to revert to cloud cover at night. 70’s. Dare i say pleasant? Two weeks ago, it wasn’t cool. It was hot, muggy. Walking a golf course, i had a case of mild heat exhaustion. Would have been scary except i knew and i knew what to do. i mean in Mission Valley, it was in the high 80’s with about 75% humidity. But i am older and it got to me.
So i shouldn’t complain. i remember two-a-days, and golf bargains.
Two-a-days were pre-season practices in mid-August two weeks before school started after Labor Day. Those practices were on the field down Hill Street from Castle Heights, ’59-’61. Heavy cotton jerseys over tee shirts, shoulder pads, cotton football pants with hip pads and knee pads underneath, high-top leather football shoes with rubber cleats and helmets that didn’t quite fit and were echo chambers for good hits. 95-95 we called it: 95 degrees and 95% humidity. And you were a sissy (and i cleaned that up considerably being conscious of the politically correct forces among us) if you drank any water. And to “help” you, you swallowed salt pills by the dozen. Why did we think that was the way to go about it?
Then years, decades later, there were the golf bargains. In the desert. It’s Jim Hileman’s fault with a little bit of help from Mike Kelly. You see in the late ’80’s or early 90’s, they talked me into being the fourth of a foursome to take advantage of golf in the desert, like in the sprawling conglomerate in Coachella Valley of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Desert Falls, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Indio. In July and August. Great green fees back then in the summer. Essentially your cart fees, which were significantly lower than today’s taxi fares and car rentals, like $20 or less unlike what they charge for carts now. Great deal. Did i mention the weather in July and August hovers around 120, give or take five or ten degrees? Oh yeh, the humidity is somewhere south of 30%, usually way south.
And being brilliant macho men, we would play two rounds daily for three days, with 18 holes on the coming and going days. Then, Marty Linville and i started doing it with a legendary drive over the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains in my RX7 through what then was a small sod farm and horse ranch area called Temecula, which is now a megalopolis of its own, and we drove up and up and down and down with switchbacks and blind curves and never-used pull-out lanes for slower vehicles and the Paradise Valley Cafe where the original owner, Pistol Annie, toted two six-guns on her hips and wore them into the ’60’s before we headed down the continuous switchbacks into that Coachella Valley, and i shall not tell you of the case of beer in the cooler in the back, which dwindled rapidly accompanied by the number of pit stops sometimes in the aforementioned pull-out lanes and other off the road spots until Marty joined our foursome, and it remained brutal for oh, about, 15 years or so, and of course, we still did it, but slower in the desert heat.
And i’m complaining about 85 degrees and 75% humidity?
Which brings me to stillness.
i started to make some comments about religion and my beliefs, but my brother is much better qualified to discuss this kind of stuff if he wishes to do so.
i simply want to tell you about something i’ve experienced. It has come upon me in the last several years. It was not something i tried or even intended to try. It has not been on a yoga mat or when humming or chanting.
Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, i wake up early in the morning. Okay, early damn near every morning. i’m not sleepy, just relaxed, considering when i should get up and become productive. Just laying there in the bed trying not to do anything to disturb the sleeping fawn at my side. Then occasionally with no planning on my part, it comes upon me. Don’t know how to describe it exactly. Stillness. Nothingness (Thanks, Jean-Paul Sartre). Peace. Calmness. i think of nothing. It’s almost like floating. Oh yeh, goodness.
i hope everyone who might read this, and actually, anyone i know, experiences this stillness. It makes me okay. It focuses me on caring about people, especially the ones i love. It gives me peace. i would like everyone to feel that.
Thanks for putting up with my ramblings.
1 thought on “Difficulty, a Good Laugh, Stillness”
Thanks, Jim. Very nice words, well put together. Welcome back. And congratulations.