20 August 2012

The unforeseen tragedy of the day

Today was a long day.

However, I came home after work and was compelled to smile, finding my wife happily walking the dog down the street, just as the sky began to drizzle.  Such beauty in so mundane a thing.

We drove over the hill together to retrieve our daughter from dance class.  I'm pretty sure I said very little.  Not out of animosity.  From exhaustion.

Once home again, I settled in by myself on the couch in the garage, with my feet propped up on the bumper of the Subie (I'm still so-posed right now), to listen to a little music while I flipped quickly through the new issue of Mountain Gazette, which had arrived in the mail this afternoon.

Instead of flipping aimlessly as I'd planned, I ended up completely engrossed in the editor's excellent three-part article about Ed Abbey and Hunter S. Thompson and read for perhaps 30 minutes, undisturbed, and for a few moments there, completely forgot about the tears and tragedy that had otherwise indelibly marred the day.

You know, I imagine myself as a kind of writer sometimes.  And I'm pleased that my friends at Commute By Bike occasionally give my words a somewhat more public venue, such as they have again today.

But, having now spent most of my day dealing with profound grief and a community's collective sorrow, and subsequently a part of my afternoon being reminded of what good writing really sounds like, and what good writing can really accomplish, my online review of a crate to carry beer bottles, which I'd hope to tout to you today with great fanfare, seems a little trite.

Therefore, with the unforeseen tragedy of the day in mind, and for a guy I didn't really know all that well, but who seemed to me to be a man who, while he lived lived Life with great purpose and vitality, I'd like to pass along a few great words, from another great writer, Henry Thoreau, of which I've been reminded repeatedly today:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary.

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. "