The dog is gnawing on her dewclaw. I need to trim her claws, but I’ve been lazy about it. The old dog nail trimmers are dull and I should buy new ones. I’ve been lazy. I mean, I got done the basic things I needed to do, but I was pretty damn lazy today. I spent a lot of time browsing the news, as if I had some kind of stake in what happens in the world. I am only optimistic enough about the future in that I hold out some hope for my son–that he’ll be able to get in a good life while he can before it all turns to shit. The utopias of science fiction where we figure out how to live peacefully as a planet, use lots of cheap abundant, renewable energy, stop making so much trash, and start harvesting energy and water off of moons, planets, asteroids, meteors, etc so that we can advance out of the solar system–I tend to think that perhaps the present civilization will take a few steps back before it moves forward like this. What I’m trying to say is that we are ending an era of advancement that began around the time of the Enlightenment, but it is just one era that will collapse upon itself, retreat into dark ages, and re-materialize in a stronger, smarter fashion with a lot fewer people on the planet.
I don’t have a crystal ball, though. Perhaps in twenty years, I will be saluting my Russian or Chinese overlords as they invade a highly weakened United States, and my family and I will have to decide whether or not we want to be microchipped with a man’s number, a certain mark, and receive lots of goodies in the present life but with a small catch of eternal damnation.
I think about these things because I don’t think anyone else does. Sure, there are some crazy people who think about them in such a way that is highly unproductive and they end up giving their kids mumps or something. But, most functioning adults don’t think about them because they are afraid they would go crazy if they did.
I need to start reading my Bible again. Just reading it with a mind open to whatever insights I receive from the Spirit, rather than reading it as if I were the most arch and meta skeptic around. I need to concede that I am not a saint, but that doesn’t mean I can’t profit from keeping with the Bible, church and prayer as I have in my recent past.
I need to stop drinking beer and start getting up to run in the mornings again, but beer is just so tasty, even the really cheap stuff. I don’t get all warm and fuzzy and soft and nice simply by meditating and reading the Bible. The hard edges must stay away.
Reading back through where I was some eight years ago, the last time I was on the verge of going to work with many of the same people I am about to work with/for again, I see that a lot about me hasn’t really changed, it’s only softened to the point that it’s become curmudgeonly and accessibly gruff instead of bitter and nasty and asshole-y. My poor dog, on the other hand, has changed a lot in the last eight years. She is now 12, and she is very needy these days. She constantly stays by my side when I am home. She is hard of hearing, has cataracts, and even her nose doesn’t seem to sniff as well as it used to. She is almost unhealthily unhappy and morose when I leave for a few days. I am not sure if I will ever have another dog like this one. She has been truly my dog and I have truly been her human.
However, I’ve dealt with enough death to know that I will deal with her loss as well. I will deal with the loss of my dad, my aunt, my wife’s grandfather, parents and other people around my age who I once knew and then finally me. You might say the one consistent theme in all of my writing has been preparation for the loss of myself in the tradition of Montaigne.