Truth will rise above falsehood as oil above water.
~ Miguel de Cervantes ~
I came across a fascinating article yesterday on the BBC.com website. The article, entitled How does wildlife find garden ponds?, referenced studies that suggest the degree of polarization of reflected light might explain how dragonflies find water. As I thought about the subject, I remembered several times when I had been surprised to find various creatures living in environments that had been “wet” for only a short while. The BBC article mentioned eels living in a partially abandoned garden pond; a pond made by people, not a natural one. It occurred to me that the lakes in and around Hot Springs Village all are artificial. Yet, aside from the stocked fish, they are teeming with wildlife that just “happened onto” them. I would love to know just how snakes and salamanders and frogs and birds and so forth seem to find water so quickly and easily. I suspect that, if we knew the secrets to how wildlife finds water, we might be better-equipped to solve water shortages for humans. Interesting stuff, in my opinion.
I’m…an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty and drive.
~ Octavia E. Butler ~
In hindsight, when I have been faced with unexpectedly shocking or otherwise troublesome behaviors from a person, I have come to realize I simply ignored earlier clues. The behaviors generally are not new. There were plenty of signs; I just ignored them or dismissed them. Or I refused to acknowledge them, in the hope the clues were simply aberrations. Usually, after I find myself stunned by such circumstances, I end up being disappointed in myself for having failed to anticipate them. “I should have known,” I say to myself, as I recount situations in which the clues would have been plain to anyone not wearing blinders. But we tend to overlook flaws in people we consider friends. Only when those flaws are so egregious they can no longer be ignored do we reluctantly accept them. And when behaviors are so utterly unacceptable that a person can no longer be called a friend, we look back on our reluctance to see the clues and wonder how we could have been so willingly blind. Such instances tend to put all of our relationships under a microscope, temporarily, as we attempt to evaluate whether we have allowed ourselves to be deluded in other circumstances. We become gun-shy, worried that we may be unable to differentiate, in terms of our relationships, between reality and illusion. Over time, though, we toughen and the pain recedes. But we never completely recover the innocence that enabled us to be surprised and shocked. And we never allow ourselves to be as receptive to interpersonal engagements as we once were. I wonder whether hermits became hermits because they were especially sensitive to troublesome behaviors from people who had been friends? Might they have opted to be loners as a means of protecting themselves from the emotional pain of unpleasant surprises?
Physical wounds do not heal; they hide beneath scar tissue. It’s the same with emotional wounds. They may not be entirely visible, but they remain as evidence of damage done to the psyche. Like physical damage, emotional injuries can be repaired, yet they are never the same as before.
I woke at 3, but stayed in bed until 4. I’ve been watching the sky brighten since around 5. Like yesterday morning, the air outside is dead still. But the temperature is a couple of degrees warmer than it was a day ago. Though I have not been outside yet, I sense that I would feel even less comfortable today than yesterday. The hottest July 12 on record in Arkansas was measured as 116 °F in Jonesboro in 1901. Fortunately, today will not eclipse that horrible number. Not only was that the hottest July 12, it was the hottest day, period, in the state. I offer my gratitude to the universe for letting that record stand. And I am grateful that today will not get even close to it. Today’s high in Halifax, Nova Scotia is expected to reach 70°F; at present, the temperature is 61°F. I want to be there. Instead, I will wade into the heat, here in Hot Springs Village, and wander into the nearest actual town for a visit with an orthopedist, who will discuss with me the “loose bits” on my right knee.