There are nice parks on the hills south of UCI's campus (heading toward the high-priced zipcodes of Newport Beach coastal canyon condo complexes) that give an amazing lookout over all the rest of Orange County. Most of them close at 6PM or "dusk", and the one I rode up to yesterday was already closed at 5:30.
I find this baffling, since the sunsets from such a vantage are really very lovely. I suppose the residents of Turtle Ridge and Summit Park want to maintain their exclusive ownership of the sunset views?
Or, perhaps yesterday's early closing was an isolated incident, simply because the city employee responsible for locking the gates was in a hurry to get home and watch the Grammy Red Carpet coverage...
I'm on PM shifts this week so it'll be a while before I can get up there around sunset again, but we must find a way.
I've been unsure of how to write on this thing for quite some time now.
I've missed writing, even if I can't remember what structure or schedule produced that writing back when it was frequent. Plenty of drafts are buried in this thing, half-finished ideas prompted by news stories, happenstance in my wanderings, or just reflection on things I've seen or heard. None of them made it beyond outline or first paragraph, though; I stall haven't figured out why, but I don't have to know why to know that I can change it.
"I don't have anything to write about anymore!" is always a lie. I don't know what I'm going to be writing, exactly, but I need to write, so here it is.
...Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything—God and our friends and ourselves included—as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.
from Mere Christianity, Part 51
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952; Harper Collins 2001) 118.
To consider: in my old life, if I were sick and spending a day at home, a knock from a courier usually meant something exciting was about to happen. A book I ordered two weeks ago? A replacement part for a nearly-abandoned project being shipped from Hong Kong ($0.99 and Free shipping!) via the slowest route possible? In my new life, packages I order come from "the Amazon" and arrive a few days later, with barely a knock on the door; the courier who knocks on the door is delivering a priority-express-document package from some third-world country with important documents for my wife to look over (pertaining to the immigration case of some desperate individual.) [sigh]
The thirteenth is a day of Christmas choir performances, half-watched DVDs, and reading obscure novels during long drives.
It is a day of not-quite-functional washing machines, gas heaters that blow themselves out, and toaster ovens that don't quite hold all four slices of pizza at once.
The thirteenth is a day of leftover pizza, stolen french-fries, and chocolate chip cookies that were freshly-baked when you left home and invisible by the time you go to bed.
It is also a day of "I'm tired let's sleep in", of "it's too cold for t-shirts but much too warm for sweaters," and of "I think I might still be fighting off that stomach flu, maybe the pizza was a bad idea."
The thirteenth is, in short, just another Friday. But *what* a just-another-Friday it is.
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It's been 50 years since Jack said farewell. He was 64.
Arise my body, my small body, we have striven Enough, and He is merciful; we are forgiven. Arise small body, puppet-like and pale, and go, White as the bed-clothes into bed, and cold as snow, Undress with small, cold fingers and put out the light, And be alone, hush'd mortal, in the sacred night, -A meadow whipt flat with the rain, a cup Emptied and clean, a garment washed and folded up, Faded in colour, thinned almost to raggedness By dirt and by the washing of that dirtiness. Be not too quickly warm again. Lie cold; consent To weariness' and pardon's watery element. Drink up the bitter water, breathe the chilly death; Soon enough comes the riot of our blood and breath.Professor Lewis was granted a space in Poets' Corner today; while some think he's not exactly a poet, I think the description is just fine.
Proceeding to the post-breakfast-coffee tables and getting your hands sticky from the quite-good danish, now without recourse to the paper napkins you felt so good about not needing only moments ago, feels a defeat worthy of Sophocles.