Learning to Go with the Flow

My to-do list has grown since we left for Fayetteville, Arkansas last Monday, our intermediate stop between Hot Springs Village, Arkansas and Fairfield, Iowa. Perhaps the most pressing of the items on the list came as the result of a big F-250 (or was it a 350?) pickup swiping the side of my car. Almost the entire driver’s side of my car was scraped up, including big swaths of side molding that were ripped from the car. The largest piece of molding, though, remains on the car; what’s left of it bent outward in an attempt to grab and dirtify passers-by. When the car is traveling at 75 miles per hour or so, the force of the wind pins it back against the left rear door panel and beyond, but it springs back like a flailing arm when I stop. Today, I’ll open the email links sent to me by the offending driver’s insurance company and will send them photos of the damage. It doesn’t look terribly bad (just hideously ugly), but I suspect it will be extremely expensive to repair. I’ll probably take the car to the Subaru dealer in Little Rock for the repair. They will (I hope and expect) provide me with a Subaru rental while my car is in the shop. We’ll see.

Other items not on my to-do list when I left but that have since been added include getting a CT scan of my neck and skull (sinus area) in preparation for a referral to an ENT doctor. The referral is part of the continuing saga of attempting to figure our and correct the medical issue that causes me to have an never-ending need to clear my throat and attempt to clear my clogged sinuses (which, together, cause me to have a horrible cough that prevents me from sleeping like I should). Another, related, item, is a follow-up sleep study component, during which I will be forced to sleep with a CPAP machine nailed or otherwise affixed to my head. Again, it’s about helping me sleep better. I’m not sure why, but I tend to get extremely tired after driving for only an hour or two (or sitting in a chair or walking a high wire or whatever). Yesterday, I awoke in time to swerve away from the center line of the highway; had I not awoken, I probably would not be writing this, nor would my IC be sleeping soundly in a room on the other side of the house.

The to-do list is full of other things that I’d rather not think about this morning. Suffice it to say these things interfere with my desire to be utterly carefree and instantly available, on a moment’s notice, to get in the car, randomly pick a direction, and drive in that direction for eight to ten hours. Soon enough, I hope. Next trip may be to New Mexico or a return visit to Fayetteville or, if I can convince myself and my IC, a drive to somewhere we’re not exploring for the purpose of long-term housing.

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All of this “must do” stuff is getting to me, both psychologically and physically. My words cannot do justice to the state of exhaustion that embraces and pervades me the way water fills every ocean and every river and stream and lake and pond. In order for me to explain how the universe has captured me and holds me under a constant stream of liquid torment, I have to resort to attribution-plagiarism, the practice of quoting poetry written by others to express how I feel. Dammit.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this,  for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.
—Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

~ William Wordsworth ~

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If I were more intelligent and had the ability to overcome my own frenetic reaction to a chaotic universe, I would simply do what happy people do every day: just go with the flow. It sounds so easy, but it’s so impossibly hard; allowing the world around me to set my course and periodically correct my direction, rather than attempting to do those things for myself. But those attempts are fruitless efforts to take control over things outside my ability to govern. I do not administer the interactions between facts and fantasy any more than dogs control the seasons or giraffes establish the color palettes used in painting realistic representations of the summer sunset in the winter sky. Go with the flow. It seems so simple and logical, as if the process of being guided by an imaginary sailor’s control of the sails on his imaginary vessel were easy. Would that I believed in ancient Greek gods. Would that Zeus and Poseidon and Athena would impart to me their knowledge and wisdom and supernatural powers. I would use them wisely. I would wrap my arms around travelers and would guide them to secret safe harbors free from the pandemonium of life in a hard, uncaring environment run by politicians and greed-merchants.

A verdant island, flush with food and drink, opportunities for play, and never-ending supplies of whatever suits our whimsy, would be our home. All would be right with the world. I would walk barefoot and naked in the sand, rinsing off the salt water and sand under a perpetually flowing waterfall near the front door to my comfortable abode. Early in the morning, I would walk ten miles around the beach, gathering conchs and picking strawberries from the nearby dunes and bananas from trees that lined the waterside. Conch fritters would serve as lunch, too, along with freshly-caught fish. Dinner would vary between sauteed, vegetables and hearty soups filled with the bounty of the island.

Did I go slightly off-track? Excuse me. I must leave now and make more coffee and consider breakfast options. What does one do when one returns from days away, with no plans for meals? If I lived on my imaginary island, the problem would not exist. But here, I must find a toaster and bread and other edibles. They sound so overwhelmingly blah.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Learning to Go with the Flow

  1. Desiderata, indeed, sir…

  2. Mick says:

    “Desiderata”…

Please talk to me about what I've written. I get lonely when I'm the only one saying anything.

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