Saturday, April 7, 2012
Rebirth and Shit Pipes...
Wow. Seven months or so since I posted. Guess that is about the time I started ignoring what I needed to pay attention to, and seeking at least some monthly or bi-weekly assistance in the form of a blog. Great thing about blogs - they are the best kind of doctor - I don't know who is reading this, I don't particularly pay attention to the number of hits, and I certainly don't consider it private - but I do consider it enough of a way to get the garbage out without co-pays and hours on the couch...so welcome to my therapy session (image of crush red velvet couch, german philosopher smoking a pipe thr
ough his large white beard, and walls lined with books comes to mind) - feel free to interject your opinions on these wonderful subjects..,
There is no point in me even trying to explain what has transpired over the past seven months - a torrential downpour of water under the bridge, and I cannot remember most of it anyway - I guess what matters is what is happening now - I do know that P Diddy and Justin Bieber are popular, I think, and that the fucking Friday song is no longer available on YouTube - I know that the baseball season is back, and that, even without cable television, I can enjoy the entire Masters and listen to the commentators for each group or pairing. I know that I have been on a vacation, have been working, and have been spending time with my kids - but other than that, the rest of the details are pretty much the same boring shit all of us deal with on a daily basis - the Soft Parade that Jim Morrison talks about so eloquently - the escapism that we are all prone to divert our attention to. Sometimes, you just have to reel that weight in, and so for now, that is what I am doing. Reeling in the escapism, and throwing a bunch of idioms and (damn, I forget what you call those things that everyone says) those things that everybody says that make absolutely no sense. Gabe and I were discussing one the other day - "What is good for the goose is good for the gander" - and we pretty much agreed that any of those quotes can be taken the wrong way - depending on which way you look at it. Consider if all of the folks in the world who had a drinking problem suddenly stopped drinking. The alcohol sales would plummet, the distillers would go broke, the tax coffers would be empty, and high school gyms everywhere would be filled with folks at AA meetings - but then, because of the strain placed on the folks who lost their jobs because street projects could not get completed or the distillery laid them off, or the liquor store no longer needed a clerk, or the marketing department did not have the money for that ad campaign, or the football team could not get enough sponsorships, you get what I am saying - they all pick up the bottle because of their problems...nature hates a vacuum - but what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander - so in a way, even though I ramble, those platitudes are mostly bullshit once you scrape through the veneer of it all.
Easter weekend - the easter bunny and eggs are signs of fertility for those of you who are Christian, and who have easter bunny baskets and egg hunts - and they are based in Pagan and Roman traditions of celebrating the spring equinox, but I guess it would be a bad idea to sell chocolate crucifix Jesus, or have a "find the resurrected Jesus" hunt - anyway, Easter weekend is about rebirth. Plain and simple. Passover dinner, spring equinox, flowers blooming, women running around in bathing suits, nine months until the birth of christ - conception - that is what this weekend is all about. A celebration of life. For those of us who attach ourselves to no particular god or religion, we celebrate this weekend as well - it is good to celebrate the rebirth of things - all things are cyclical, and many things are reborn every day - I see it in my children - their quirks and smiles and traits - I have been reborn in them, and they will be reborn in their children. That is a celebration. I can celebrate that my grandmother and grandfather live on in me, good and bad, I can celebrate that how ever many generations from now, somewhere, there is a little teensy tiny piece of me floating around in the gene pool....
That is what Easter is about to me. Looking out my window right now, it is clear, sunny, the trees have leaves on them again, the maginolia trees have blooms, and I can hear laughter from the swimming pool. All good things that remind me there are always seasons for rebirth.
Shit pipes. Now my kids have always had the luxury of big spring break trips. This year, due to unforeseen but predictable financial circumstances, their trip this year consisted of a two day excursion to Uncle Aaron's place down in St. Augustine to install a lift station and some drainage pipes. I have to say, this has been one of the most rewarding spring breaks for me - I got to see my two kids work their asses off and laugh and smile, even though their spring break, literally, was a world of shit.
They were about as dirty as they had ever been in their lives, covered from head to toe in dirt, dust, and particles of whatever had flowed out of the septic tank - and they were happy. They had blisters on their hands, tired sore feet, and smelled like they had been feeding hogs all day long - but they were smiling and laughing and joking - most of all - and I mean this - they were helping. Watching a ten year old girl lift a shovel full of gravel or a soon to be fourteen year old boy tear off the rubber gloves, grab a sewer pump, and man handle the damn thing into place - it was amazing to see them as young people be so responsive and tough - they liked what they were doing, and were proud to be a part of it. I have to admit, I was proud of them for their toughness - I was proud of them for everything that they were doing - they did not have any idea of what they were doing - but they kept going - digging, hauling, moving, working - and the entire time - they laughed about it. Sewer pipes and french drains are no fun. Putting them in as a family, now that is rewarding. I encourage those of you who think that you need to escape to a resort or a weekend warrior challenge - replace a sewer line or dig up a backyard. If your family does not get closer through all of that, then seek counseling. The week has flown by - the day job coupled with the other work, 40 hours here, 40 hours there, things just went by quickly. Each night at dinner, Gabe would step up and cook, Gray would step up and help me clean, and all of us would sit down and laugh - about how bad we smelled, about how crazy Uncle Ronnie was, about how Poppy would randomly yell "Shit" like someone stricken with Turrets - and I could see in their faces how proud they were of their work - and I hope they felt how proud I was of them.
Yep, shit pipes and rebirth - they seem to go hand in hand - no fancy cruise, no trip to times square, no easter egg hunt, none of that stuff this year - just work - plain and simple - and through that work, sort of a rebirth of my vision for our family - that simple things and a little bit of focus on the right things can make all of the difference.