Sep 19 2008

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Back in the Swing of Things

Posted at 9:21 am under Blog Post

A week out of the woods and it’s almost like the trip never happened.

I carried the glow of wildness through the weekend, despite a steady bombardment of foolishness at the motel desk where I work.  When I returned home, my wife brought to my attention a problem with our computer keyboard.  That’ll have to be replaced.  We bought another car to replace the one that crapped out right before I went to the Adirondacks.  That required considerable interaction with the bank, the insurance company and a car dealership.  The transaction took longer than expected because computers were down somewhere in the Midwest.  That was due to a panic on Wall Street triggered by the bankruptcy of yet another financial institution.  Monday night our fearless leaders assured us that “the system is fundamentally sound.”  Hmm.  I’d hate to see what things would be like otherwise.

Despite all this, I kept the glow through Monday and well into Tuesday, even after catching up on world news.  I kept the glow until I called a local appliance store to schedule a service call.  The timer on my dryer isn’t working.  I figured it’d be an easy fix.  I was about half right.  Easy to fix, yes, but the part would cost over a hundred bucks and the service call would be another hundred.  The pleasant fellow on the other end of the phone diplomatically suggested that I consider my options.  The dryer cost about 350 bucks when my wife and I bought it eight years ago.  What would you do?

Ah, this is an opportunity to replace our old dryer with a more energy efficient one, I thought.  I looked at an “energy star” dryer and it cost two and a half times more than the cheapest model on the floor.  That’s money we don’t have.  So I purchased the cheap one and will install it later on today.  Does all this sound familiar?

I went for a short walk on the nearby Rail Trail midweek, but couldn’t linger.  I had things to do.  I finished caulking the roof so it won’t leak this winter, mowed the grass to keep my neighbors happy, and so on.  I even got a little writing done.  But somewhere between “the system is fundamentally sound” and considering my options, I lost touch with the wild.  Now I’m hours away from going to the motel for another two-day dose of foolishness – mostly clueless travelers trying to negotiate a better room rate.

I’d be lying if I said all this has taken me by surprise.  I knew before I stepped out of the woods that I’d be dealing with all this nonsense, or something like it.  Life in these modern times is nerve-wracking even for the most levelheaded, centered Buddha among us.  That is why I shake my head in amazement, wondering how other people do it.  How do those who don’t spend time in the woods keep from going postal?  The bullshit is so deep we should all be wearing waders.

As soon as I get a chance, I’ll grab my pack, load my dog in the car and head for the hills for a day.  Again, yes.  And while I’m there, maybe I’ll give a little thought to the riddle of existence, the relationship between God and Nature, and what it means to be human.  But right now I’ve got to install a dryer so that it meets code, then get ready for a swing shift.  Isn’t life grand?

One response so far

One Response to “Back in the Swing of Things”

  1. Deedee Burnsideon 24 Sep 2008 at 5:19 pm 1

    Great and thoughtful writings you do!
    I love ’em all !! Dd