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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Her face, at first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale

Every morning I try to lean forward and greet the day in as positive a frame of mind as I can summon here in The Brave New World. It can be trying sometimes to enjoy this moment when so many of us like to use the past to explain why the future will not work.

I didn't grow up in New England, or Southeast New England (as folks from New Hampshire and Vermont have told me this area is called. I don't have the heart to share with them what people I know from Maine call them) so I'm not sure how much of this Eeyore frame of mind is a result of environmental influences or how much is hereditary. But when I think of how New England came to be settled, and the resolve and resolution and optimism those voyages required, I'm not sure it's not the former rather than the latter.

You know who I mean-the donkey from Winnie the Pooh who has, ummm, slightly lower expectations on the prospects of success than Kanga, Rabbit or Tigger. I love his cartoon voice and his ability to see the glass as half-empty. Of course, from someone whose favorite food is thistles, perhaps it's too much to expect wide-eyed optimism.

Except, why not? The day is exactly as long (seconds, minutes and hours) if it's drudgery or if it's excitement. Why choose unsalted crackers and unflavored gelatin when you can taste the color of the rainbow, or at least contemplate tasting it.

I bought regular gasoline last night (they were all out of extraordinary, I guess) for about three dollars and eighty cents a gallon (I hate that point nine razzamatazz) and the man with the Hummer (not the little one--there's a marketing concept, eh? A Little Hummer. Now there's a marketing genius. Not the big skyscraper, the little one) is pumping premium into his vehicle and I finish first (of course). I drive a Subaru Forester and it is NOT superlative on gas mileage but it's okay and that's not why I bought it but it does better than his vehicle so I'm thankful for that. It seems, from what I could understand of his muttered imprecations, someone from an auto dealership (or perhaps the manufacturer) has imprisoned his family and is holding them hostage to coerce him into buying this behemoth that he is 'going broke just keeping in gas! Because I don't know why I drive it, y'know?' Actually, I don't know-but thanks for sharing I think and I hope you get your family back soon.

I don't imagine anyone anywhere is happy at the cost of fuel or food or clothing or housing or [insert one or more commodities here] but this is our life and we make it what it is, or it happens beyond us in other people's lives, and we have no voice and no choice. The Hummer guy was a believer in 'them' [what are making all the money from 'us', I guess] and I didn't have the time to ask him who exactly the 'them' is. The next time I see him, or someone like him (and to people like me, Eeyore always all looks the same) I'll ask him and pass it along to you and that way two of us can be on the lookout for 'them'.

Actually, I won't be-I have only today in which to live, to laugh and to love. I have no idea what happens tomorrow and there were things yesterday I could regret but cannot repair, so I'm done with that day as well. Today is the next day in the only life we have, so face it and embrace it. We've got bees to count and clouds to sweep. And exactly 86,400 seconds to get it all done in.
-bill kenny

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