Saturday, August 19, 2006

The passing of the seasons...
and various other scattered observations....

In a way, I hate to see the Summer Solstice come and go, because after that, the days get shorter, and if you obsess on it, you end up getting all depressed because fall's comin' and then winter's comin', and before ya know it, another year's come and gone and yer not gettin' any younger...(I'd better stop this train of thot or I'LL get depressed!)...but actually, I don't mind the days getting a bit shorter. I usually feel pressure to stay outside until at least sunset, and when the sun doesn't set until 9:30 or 10pm, it feels like the day is just a shade TOO long. And, since I don't go to bed until waaaay late, nowadays, it's still dark when I go to bed. I tend to get a little 'out of rhythm' when the days are SOOOO long. Something that a lot of folks miss out on, but I get to witness, because I keep such irregular hours...sitting by the side of the lake at twilight, as it becomes dark, I can gaze across the lake and see the lights of homes on the lake, and an occasional watercraft plying the dark waters...there's a wine commercial that advertises its product as being a nice part of the evening, "when daylight slips into something more comfortable", and that's how I view each evening's encroaching darkness. Some nites I'll just sit in my car by the edge of the lake; gazing at the dark expanse of water is peaceful; puts me in a very relaxed mind frame.

I think going to the ocean every year has kinda wrecked me; I feel this crazy need to be near water. Maybe in my next life I'll come back as a seagull, and if I see you trying to have a picnic, I'll squawk and beg for food from you. Lately, I've noticed that CDA Lake gets pretty "wavy" at night; must be the pull of the moon or something. The sound of the waves can be quite hypnotizing. Listening to the waves wash up on the shore is very, very restful; there are times when I've almost gone to sleep right there on the park bench from the repetition of the waves. I have a couple of CD's which have some formless "new age" music with waves in the background, and they are very restful to hear. Maybe the body automatically tunes into the rhythms of nature. And maybe in the course of living our lives, we don't pay attention to nature's rhythms...all the while compiling stress, anxiety and mental fatigue; that's a real problem in our society.

As night falls, it's time to go home. After being almost lulled into unconsciousness by the gently lapping lake waves, I have to drive up Sherman Avenue and get unceremoniously jolted into hyper-sensitivity as I pass the open bars with loud, obnoxious music booming and crashing out onto the street. I still wonder what happened to last year's highly-touted noise ordinance, under which, if you played your "stock" car radio too loud, you could get pulled over, let alone if you had a pair of double-woofer and triple-tweeter speakers in your back seat.

I don't know if I've posted this picture before...but here, a boat navigates Coeur d'Alene Lake, trying to get home before the sun sets. You know, long ago I used to go to the bars because I wanted to be "where it was happening", whatever "that" was. I don't do that anymore. I'll pass the throngs of people trying to be someone on Sherman Avenue, and head off to sit by the lake somewhere on my own...but I'm glad I went thru all that, because it makes me appreciate nature, solitude and peacefulness all that much more. I see the crowds standing out on the sidewalks of the open-ended bars, trying to be 'somebody', and I think to myself, "been there, done that". Yep, I used to close down the bars. Now, late nights, I make trips to the grocery store for milk. Could it be that Huey Lewis and the News, that '80's band, was right? Is it "hip to be square"? But as Charlie Rich once sang, "I still love to Rock and Roll...I'm just rolling with the flow". As long as the music isn't thundering forth from speakers taller than my house, that is.

But sometimes, if I hear nothing at all, that's okay, too. There are times I've spent hours online, with no noise in the background whatsoever. Can it be, really, that all we're really looking for, is to just "be comfortable"? I don't care about putting in 'appearances' anymore. I do find myself talking less, and perhaps withdrawing from people more than I used to. I like to be out and about, with life going on around me, but I feel better if I'm "observing" what's going on, than if I am "involved" in what's going on. More than anything, it's becoming more and more important for me to progress along at my own pace, whatever that pace may be. Maybe that's where the 'sitting by the lake at night' comes in. And maybe that's my 'comfortable pace'.

Over the years, I worked hard at whatever job I had. I was a member of the workforce from age 16 to age 50. I always felt best when I could 'believe' in the job I was doing. I've come close to having panic and anxiety attacks in the workplace, but I masked everything best as I could and just kept on "keeping on". I was told by a fairly-recent former employer, that I was the most honest part-timer that had ever worked there, which was nice; at least somebody saw something positive. I see people in the workplace today, and I remember. The grocery checkers who are tired out of their minds, trying to serve an endless sea of people. The same thing happens at the Java place; the clerks trying to keep all of the customers' orders straight. Sometimes I, as a customer, get really impatient with other customers! . I remember working in advertising sales, seeing numerous clients, trying to keep everything together. I remember just going, going, going like the energizer bunny, on the verge of mental exhaustion a lot of the time.

I remember dishwashing in a local restaurant, and being totally exhausted when I got home. Half the time, I didn't even have time to get out of my old dirty dishwashing clothes; the minute I laid down on the couch, I was GONE. ZZZZzzzzz. I've worked in light manufacturing, in hot noisy factories, doing mindless methodical jobs with co-workers tattling to the boss if I said or did anything they didn't like; I remember one cheap old lady who owned a print shop I worked in; she regularly shorted me on my "hours" and I couldn't do anything about it; I remember coming to my workplace on my own time, to fix something that had gone wrong, because the employee who was on shift at the time didn't know what to I see the people who wait on me, or ring up my purchase, or who are dusting the shelves or sweeping the floors, and I remember. The workplace is tough, unforgiving, and unrelenting. I don't miss it AT ALL.

So I guess nowadays, I'm just "being". Or trying to "be". It seems like living is a constant process of readjustment, and admittedly, this has been a really 'mental' year for me. I'm getting to the place in my life now, where I look back and I think, "how did I manage to do all that?" I find I have great empathy for all the 'little people' who are trying to make ends meet and become totally exhausted in the process, because I've done that; I know how they feel. What totally amazes me, though, is how people manage to have FAMILIES while doing all of whatever it is they have to do. In my book, those people are just absolutely superhuman and deserve as much respect as society can afford them. Every now and then, I'll see someone else sitting alone on a park bench. And I wonder what they're thinking about, or what they're trying to "work through" or resolve.

I remember, long ago, when I was driving cab full-time, 4 or 5 days a week, anywhere between 40-60 hours a week, and trying to subsist on the meager wages and virtually 'no tips' that a daytime driver gets. I'd hold it all together the best I could, and in the summer, after my shift was over, I'd head straight to City Park, find a picnic table, and just 'crash' there for a while. So perhaps I can adjust my outlook; usually I don't like large groups of noisy picknicking people, but I guess I have to accept that when those folks are in the park, maybe they're "letting off steam" from all the pressures they accrue in their lives. I think I can adjust my attitude to think that way. I used to hate the seagulls until I started feeding them, after all. I suppose what all this leads to is, if you're feeling pressure, try to let yourself 'off the hook', if only for a while.

I just decided to "let my brain go wherever" here. I've been posting a lot of real-world stuff lately, which is fun, it really is. But for some reason, I seem to be slowing down a bit in that regard. This blog is close to a year old now; I've posted almost 450 entries in that time. What's the future for this blog? Well, it'll "adjust", like we all have to do. Anyway, if you read all this, thanks for letting me "clean out the cobwebs" of my mind.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know what i am trying to figure out? When did Coeur d'Alene Lake become Lake Coeur d' Alene? Growing up it was always Cda everything I see is Lake Cda
just like now I keep hearing Nothern Idaho.. IT is North Idaho..
only people from Southern California can't get it right. lol

12:04 AM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Well...I was born in Southern California, but my Dad couldn't stand it back in the
'50s. I've been in North Idaho since l956, and 46 of those years I've lived here in CDA. I'm a lazy slob, what can I say, so I say "CDA Lake", or sometimes if I'm really detail-oriented, I'll refer to it as "Lake Coeur d'Alene" or "Coeur d'Alene Lake". Names, tags, numbers, labels. But I suppose if I don't get it right I can always blame southern California!

1:43 AM  
Blogger Word Tosser said...

When I see all of those who are hard pressed to impress... I think of Dr. Hooks...Couple more years...
and the last line... "and found it to be no where at all"

1:18 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Hey, Cis, I'm right there with ya. I have tried for years to be so many things. And I thot those things I tried to be WERE me. I guess not. My individuality always manages to come along and derail me. Like Popeye said, "I yam wot I yam". (I like spinach, too.)

12:51 AM  

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