I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Fickle spring weather

Osoberries (Indian Plum) in bloom

Yesterday Melanie and I headed out to Fairhaven to begin our usual Saturday walk in a familiar place: The Interurban trail. It was miserable, to tell you the truth: it rained the night before (and was still spitting) and a stiff wind blew in our faces to make the cold temperature feel even more awful. But we didn't have to go far, we could turn around at any time if we felt the need. So off we went, but it wasn't long before I pleaded with Mel to go inside somewhere, anywhere, to warm up. We ended up going to the train station and ordered ourselves some hot chocolate to get warm inside and out. It was just right.

Before long, we felt the worst of the weather had moderated, so we set out for the trail. It was a good choice; it wasn't long before we were chatting away and forgetting the worst of the weather as our activity continued to warm us up. Not only that, we were also out of the wind and in the trees, admiring the early blooming Osoberry bushes everywhere. I didn't know their other name, only knowing them as Indian Plum for the longest time. Now that using the name "Indian" in most situations has become politically incorrect, I was happy to learn that these pretty bushes do indeed have another name. In the fall, they have red edible berries to harvest. Native Americans made plum jam out of the berries, which need a lot of sweetener to be really tasty, so they are not usually eaten right off the bush. This fall, though, I might just be moved to try them in their natural state.

In other matters, I have grown so accustomed to my hearing aids already, that occasionally I must check my ears to reassure myself they are properly positioned and not actually lost. At first, I was very aware I had something in my ears, and they were not comfortable, but now that they are, I find myself wondering how I got along without them for so long. All the birds! Oh my, the ones I had even forgotten are now back serenading me constantly on my walks. And I can hear the sound of bicycle tires coming up behind me on the trails, as well as the crunch of the path under my feet as I walk. It's a pretty busy world out there, and pre-hearing aids, my auditory environment had become much more muffled. I'm dealing with the sounds of the coffee shop better than I did at first, learning to tune out unwanted conversations a little better each day.

I'm feeling a little unmoored as to where to take this post next. It's always a bit of a crapshoot to sit down in front of a blank page and and try to figure out what's really on my mind, where I might want to go from here.
You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there. —Yogi Berra
Yogi knew what he was talking about, most of the time, anyway. I don't have a clue as to where I'm going next, but it helps to know that a great mind like his was in this predicament first. Now there are "Yogi-isms" that have become part of our everyday lives, such as "it ain't over till it's over," and "when you come to a fork in the road, take it." His mind didn't work like others; he had the gift of saying things in a way that gave us a chance to see things differently. I love that.

And I am back to reading my latest book, the one about quantum physics, and one that talks about the premise that All is One. I was reading in the book about Pythagoras and realized that although he lived thousands of years ago, we are still talking about his theories. He discovered that the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides. From Wikipedia:
Pythagoras was an ancient Ionian Greek philosopher and the eponymous founder of Pythagoreanism. His political and religious teachings were well known in Magna Graecia and influenced the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and, through them, the West in general.
Last week, just by chance, I came across an article in The Guardian about two teens who say they have a new proof to the Pythagorean Theorem which illustrates that the idea of his theorem is still hanging around in the classrooms of today. Thousands of years ago, this interesting man lived and still is being discussed. I find it rather astounding, and the coincidence of my having read about him and then this article showing up in my reading material. I wonder sometimes about whether we are actually are All One Thing. Maybe linear time is truly an illusion and we are not aware of what reality consists of. I seem to remember Einstein saying that linear time is a concept so that everything doesn't happen all at once. Or something like that.

Did you see the movie that ended up winning Best Picture? Everything Everywhere All At Once depicts an absurd world where a woman travels to parallel universes to find an entity in order to keep the world from disintegrating. I saw it in a theater and was mildly amused by it, but I certainly didn't find it to be all that good. And I love most sci-fi movies. The second Avatar movie was far superior, to my mind, and I would have chosen almost any other movie to win than this one. Did you see it? If so, what did you think of it? I am glad the actors won, though, and that Asian characters dominated the awards ceremony.

It's cold outside once again this morning, but we have a warm patch on the horizon, with many sunny days ahead. Like I said, the weather is fickle and creating havoc in many parts of the world. Anyone who once thought that climate change is a distant future event might not feel the same today. Tornadoes in the south of the country and incessant rain in California, just to keep things local. But all over the planet, our weather extremes are becoming increasingly destructive.

Our beautiful planet is in trouble, much of it caused by the explosive growth of humanity. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: there are too many of us and we are continuing to propagate exponentially. Something's gotta give, and soon. There are so many people all over the world suffering and facing unimaginable futures, and there's nothing I can do about it. I guess I should be glad that I'm old and will be gone before too many more years, because the world I grew up in, the one I believed would only get better — is only still around in some parallel universe, I guess.

But then again, what do I know? I don't even know if linear time is real or not, so how can I even speculate about the future? What I do know, without a doubt, is that I am one of the lucky ones, sitting in a dark room with the light of my laptop helping me to create this post. My dear partner still sleeps next to me, with his light breathing quite easily heard with my new ears, and a day of companionship and joy ahead. I still have my health, the ability to think and ponder, my family and friends all close enough to appreciate them. Better to count my blessings and surround myself with love and joy than to let myself be dragged down by speculation.
I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. —Alan Watts

I think I will end this post with that profound quote by Alan Watts, who was (is) a pioneer in his own world. He was onto something with that, wasn't he? All that I want to do with myself today is Be Here Now and let all the rest of it settle into oblivion. Oh, and remind you, my dear readers, that we do create much of our own reality in the space between our ears. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things. Be well.


Rian said...

Great post, DJan. And I would have ended up in that train station having hot chocolate too... can't stand being cold. But glad the rest of your Saturday walk turned out well. And I recently read about those 2 teens also (all one thing? synchronicity?) And you are right (IMO) that we create our own reality - maybe not totally, but a good part of it inside our heads.

gigi-hawaii said...

Glad you like your hearing aids. As for the Asian movie, I watched it, too, but didn't like it. "Tar" was better, but too intellectual for most people.

Galen Pearl said...

Enjoyed catching up on your last couple of posts. One of the many things I appreciate about you is how you are always interested in and curious about a wide range of things. Some things you follow up on and go deeper. Other things warrant a passing glance and you move one. What a great attitude towards how we live our lives.

Elephant's Child said...

Another wonderful, far ranging post.
Thank you. I think that time is an elastic trickster.
I love that your new hearing aids are enriching/widening your world.
I suspect if I had stopped the walk I would have been unlikely to start it again - well done you.

Linda Reeder said...

I have not seen the "Everything" movie, but the more I know about it the less I am interested in seeing it. If I can get it on streaming I already have I'll watch it, but not if I have to pay much extra for it. I saw "Tar" and didn't really like it much. To be honest the only movie nominated that I saw and really liked was "Top Gun: Maverick". That was pure entertainment.

Far Side of Fifty said...

No I have not see that movie, I probably won't either. Lately I watched an old movie Big Jake...gotta love John Wayne! Working on How the West was Won now and enjoying it very much. I must be in my Western Phase:) I hope you have a wonderful week. We are preparing to head back to the woods at the end of the week ahead...most of the Winter is behind us and if Spring would Spring I would be quite happy!

John's Island said...

Wow, you covered a lot of territory today. Just this morning on my walk along the waterfront I wondered about a common shrub that has been blooming the last few days. Yes, it is an Osoberry! Thank you! Love Yogi-isms. Here are a few more, have you heard them? 😊
"It's like déjà vu all over again."
"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
"You can observe a lot by watching."
"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
Lastly, I tried to find the book with the premise All is One. I think I found it: “The One” by Heinrich Pas. Maybe you could let me know in an email or via your next comment on John’s Island. Thanks for another great Eye on the Edge and have a good week ahead. John

Red said...

Well, I'm not sure if this is real or not but spring weather is quite unpredictable as we have cold air and warm air mixing. Yes, when we look at some weather extremes it makes me worry. I hate to be a pessimist but we're not going to get this thing turned around in time so that we avoid some catastrophes. Many of the elderly today will experience the havoc.

Glenda Beall said...

We had some spring weather and then freezing cold, but this week it will be summer weather in the 80s. Glad you can still take your hikes even with the cold. As for hearing aids, I went to a play last night and could hardly understand half of what was said. I definitely plan to get some help soon. I remember my husband loved being able to hear the birds again.

Anvilcloud said...

Two things.

I feel my hearing aids too much. My right ear always gets sore when I sleep on it, so I really notice that hearing aid a lot. Such is life.

The understanding is that population growth is not increasing exponentially at this point. Although we may still add another million or two, the end of growth is in sight. It could happen about mid-century. At least that was the prognosis when I last studied the issue. Maybe it has changed. I should study up again.

Marie Smith said...

I love hearing how you’ve adjusted to your heating aids. I have heard some awful reports from people I know and it is good to know that some people adjust well to them.

Have a great week, Jan.


We have had some spring weather, and although it is gradually getting better, I am hesitant to put too much stock in it.