Discontented

  Of all sorts of contractors, bridge builders are those most in tune with nature.  Homebuilders, general contractors, and road builders take steps to hew to unremitting schedules of which their predecessors would never have dreamed.  In the winter, they thaw the ground.  Once the framing is up, they enclose with polyethylene sheeting and plumb and electrify.  Once there is a lid on a project there is not much that will slow them down.

  Bridge projects however are often remote and astride a force of nature that won’t be ignored.  Thus the crews are more independent, flexible, and solemn than other types.  They know they can’t bullshit mother nature.  River comes up, they move to higher ground and wait for the sun to return.

  Something humane in that sort of pace.  Primal maybe.  I was thinking about it this morning, first when running along the river.  Ran under a bridge and saw a few carp swirling about thinking of spawning.  It’s really turbulent when they all get the idea.  Ducks and geese with their rafts of ducklings and goslings.  Felt sorry for one duck and drake pair whose progeny had dwindled to just two.

  Driving to work I noticed the fluff of the cottonwood trees along the river.  Jeesh it gets thick.  Every year the algorithm in my mind takes me first to dandelions and then “oh ya, there’s too much too high, it’s the cottonwoods’ turn”.

  For one sitting in an office remembering a nasty recession at the beginning of a career while sweating a new one, the throes of Mother Nature’s rhythms hold allure. 

  Freud wasn’t exactly thinking about the economy or weather when he wrote Civilization and Its Discontents, but, well, it’d sure be great to have a sailboat and shove off.  Leave the razor’s edge behind.

  At sea the choices are clear and Mother Nature won’t be trifled with.  There’s work, relaxation, and terror.  One emerges from this last either stronger and respectful or, uh, quite wet.

  “Confronting a storm is like fighting God.  All the powers seem to be against you and, in an extraordinary way, your irrelevance is at the same time both humbling and exalting.”  Francoise Legrand.

  “For the truth is that I already know as much about my fate as I need to know.  The day will come when I will die.  So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time.  I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.”  Richard Bode.

Seagull Sunset

 March 29, 2007

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