Saturday, November 12, 2011

Moments Lost In Time

Yesterday was one of those rare days when I was actually able to do a little thinking between calls at work. I ruminated over things ranging from a fresh update to my political blog (not done yet, but coming soon, not that anyone has ever read it), to what I was considering doing this weekend. I was considering whether or not to make the trek up to Salt Lake to attend my great aunt's funeral (it was this morning and I opted out due to being too emotionally worn out for a funeral), when I started thinking back on trips we had made to her house on Christmas when I was a kid. We used to go, in part, because my grandmother did not drive and she wanted to see her sister at Christmas. Then I started thinking about the past and about time and how fleeting it all is. For some reason it really struck me the fact that the only way I have to prove that any of those things ever happened is that I remember them. Once the moment is gone, it is irretrievably gone except for what we remember, and that is different for everyone who experienced the moment.

I think back on some of my earliest memories, and sometimes they do not feel real. I know that these things happened to me because I remember them happening, and still they feel somehow not a part of me. It was somewhat disconcerting thinking about this in between calls. I started recalling times where I have felt like I was in some strange dream and that I would wake up at any moment to find that everything that had happened in the last week, month, year, decade was, in fact, just a dream.

And then there are the photos I recently found of a camping trip with my ex and our kids. The photos are real. They captured some of these moments lost to the past, and yet I have no memory of that trip. I cannot explain it. I look at the photos and I try so hard to recall where we were, what the occasion was, any detail at all, and it is as if the whole thing has been erased from my memory. I know I was there; I took the photos, but I could not tell you where 'there' was if my life depended on it.

So the past simply disappears, but it is as if my brain is trying to think beyond this linear concept called time. It is sometimes as if my brain is saying, 'Look, I know that there is more to this, but something is in there keeping me from unlocking the part that will help me comprehend in something other than a linear way.' I am sure that this is probably starting to sound rather whacked out (who knows, maybe a screw or two is finally coming loose), but the whole experience yesterday was really rather odd. I found myself wondering if, somehow, our past moments still exist and we could revisit them if only we could find a way to them. Right now, memory is the only way, and memories can be strange, elusive things. It was a weird afternoon.

Clear as mud? I thought so. At least I will have this as proof that tonight existed at some point. Unless this is all some weird dream. (OK, I'll stop now.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

At A Loss For Words

It's Friday night, it has been a very long week, and rather than being all excited and energetic because it is finally the weekend, I am mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. So the plan is to get some sleep and approach this blog thing again tomorrow. I had some things I was thinking about earlier today that I really want to share, but tonight it is just not happening. If you could see how many times I have had to backspace and correct text, you would understand what I am saying. Tune in tomorrow; it should be much more interesting (than this entry, anyway).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just A Quick One

Tomorrow is Friday! Only one more day of work before the weekend. This has been one of those weeks I will be glad to see that back of. More and more I am looking forward to Thanksgiving; not only for the wonderful food and good company, but for the time off.

We bought some Cinnabon cinnamon rolls at Costco tonight as a treat. I had forgotten how good they can be....and just how sweet. We may have to freeze some because one tonight has just about done me in. It sure was tasty though.

That about wraps it up for me tonight.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wishful Thinking

If I could choose to do anything I wished for a living, I would spend time visiting the national parks and write photo books about my experiences. One problem with this dream is that there are already many people who do this very thing. Just look at the visitor's centers and you will find any number of books filled with photos of the parks. That said, against very long odds, I hope to complete a book on Arches later this month. I have no illusions it will ever be much more than just a little something I put together for my own satisfaction. The site I will be publishing it through will have it available for sale, but I do not anticipate that more than three copies will ever be sold, and I will likely be the one to buy them all. Still, it will be an accomplishment. After all, I did manage to enter three photos into the state fair this year after saying I was going to enter for at least a decade. I am sure I will experience some level of satisfaction of seeing the book in print. I did a Yellowstone photo book for my dad recently and I liked it well enough to buy a copy for myself as well. That one was only photos and I do not think it is available for purchase unless I purchase additional copies. What I am slowly and very indirectly getting at is it would be a dream made real if my Arches book actually sold well and I was able to do other books. I could easily put one together for Capitol Reef as well at this point.

That would be my dream job; not only because I would be writing and taking photos for a living, but because I could actually spend more time in nature. While I missed having Merilee with me this last trip to Arches, being able to spend time immersed in the wonders of that place, listening to the wind and feeling the peace of being away from so many people and the demands of everyday life was something I needed more than I could ever describe. I think back to my hike out to Tower Arch and I remember being almost drawn by the trail. When I started, I had no plan to do the whole trail. I just wanted to see what the first part of the trail looked like, but the further I went, the further I wanted to go. Yes, when I got to the hill of sand, I wondered what I was thinking and if I should go on or just turn back, but I kept going (and I really do not like walking uphill in sand). Even though I was getting tired and was really not in the best of shape, something drew me on. When I finally reached the arch, it was all worth it. I had come 1.7 miles, seeing areas of the park I had never experienced before, and here I stood before something remarkably grand, inspiring, and breath taking. I sat there for awhile, a solitary human amidst natural wonders. That kind of experience is what helps renew me. There are times I literally live for moments like that. Moments like that are what I hope to share.

I'll let you know when it is done.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tired Tuesday

Today was a rather long day at work and I am rather worn out. At heart, I am really a very empathic person, and dealing with others' problems every day can make me feel physically tired. That is where I am at tonight. I am emotionally drained as well, and that does not lend itself to creativity.

I did get some good news today. My son, who lives in Sweden, has twice applied for extension of child support. I received the most recent official letter in the mail on October 29th. According to Utah, where the Swedish authorities had my child support calculated so they could use ORS instead of working directly with me, my son has been emancipated since he turned 18. Well, when I got the most recent letter, I sent an e-mail explaining that. Today, I had a notice left in the mail that I had a registered letter from Sweden. I spent the rest of the day wondering what it would say, imagining the worst and wondering how I was going to afford paying child support for him again. Right after work, I went to the post office and got the letter. Rather than the missive of gloom I expected, it was a simple letter acknowledging the my son is indeed emancipated and I do not have to start paying extended child support. Now if he would only get a job like normal people who are almost 20 and need money.

That's about all I have in me tonight. Time to read a bit more or the great Russian novel and head to bed.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Another Monday

Yet another Monday has come and gone. Only four more work days to get through. There is something about feeling that way that is quite sad to me. I feel like I am just trying to get through five days of the week, and that seems like such a waste to me. It makes me wish I was doing something that felt meaningful to me, not just something that produced a paycheck. Still, there is no doubt how thankful I am for that paycheck, but I keep looking for something more meaningful.

Lately I have found myself questioning a lot of things. No answers yet, just questions. It must be the fact that I am getting close to 50 or something. I try to look in my heart, try to listen to what it surely must be trying to tell me, but either I am not sensitive enough to hear or there is nothing to hear. I am pretty certain it is not the latter, so I am faced with the task of learning how to hear better. It is not an easy task, but I continue to try. I sometimes wonder why something that seems to come so easily to others is such a difficult task for me. I'm almost 50 and still wondering what my purpose in life is. I thought I knew, once, but that was long time ago and so much has changed since then.

I think it's time to call it a night.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Reading War And Peace

As you may have noticed, I am currently reading War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I found a copy of the Penguin Classics edition at Barnes & Noble for $3.99 (normally $16), so I bought it thinking, "Some day, I am going to read War And Peace." Why now, you may ask? The simple answer is that I want to be able to say I have read it, nothing more. I read Anna Karinina years ago and did not enjoy it very much, so I figured my literary flirtation with Tolstoy was finished without having to read one of the longest (and, according to some, one of the most boring) novels in literature, but I was having a hard time deciding what to read after finishing Focault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (weird book) and I figured there is no time like the present and grabbed the huge tome off of the shelf.

I am over 250 pages into it (1444 pages total) and I find it reads much like any Victorian English novel. This is partly due to the translator being English, I am sure, but the situations and characters remind me of similar characters encountered in books by Dickens, Hardy, and Eliot, among others. It seems the struggles of the human condition are more universal than some would have us believe. I have not found it enthralling, but I have not found it tedious either. It has been interesting and I anticipate it being no harder to get through that other lengthy novels I have read, such as The Count Of Monte Cristo (the unabridged version) and Les Miserables (again, the unabridged version). I ended up enjoying both of those very much, though they did take awhile.

By the end of the year, if someone ever asks if I have read War And Peace, I hope to be able to reply, "Why yes, I have, and Moby Dick as well." That's another book I approached with some trepidation, but figured it couldn't be as bad as I had heard, and I found it was quite enjoyable. I may not have any impressive talents, but I can read long books with the best.