A Lesson from Edward Abbey

I pooped out a bunch of corn tonight.

I kind of expected it, being that I ate three ears of the stuff for dinner, but not as soon after doing so as it occurred.

Ah well – I guess my digestive system is in good shape. It works like a freaking rocket.

I had to back up my data files on this machine last night and wipe the hard drive clean. It would struggle like a fat kid walking up a wheel chair ramp (not stairs) when performing even the simplest tasks, like reboot or open up the goddamn calculator. It pissed me off to think the cause of its struggles was the actions by some wormy little technical guru sitting in an advertising office somewhere. The purpose of guys’ like this job is to shit on people’s day. I hope someday I can return the favor via a replica of the corn-infused Billy club that just came out of my ass.

While doing so, I got into one Edward Abbey’s books, his first, “Desert Solitaire.” There was a line I read which kind of put not only my frustrations related to the computer into perspective, but all the others which consume my state of mind these days.

“… I become aware for the first time today of the immense silence in which I am lost. Not a silence so much as a great stillness – for there are a few sounds: the creak of some bird in a juniper tree, an eddy of wind which passes and fades like a sigh, the ticking of the watch on my wrist – slight noises which break the sensation of absolute silence but at the same time exaggerate my sense of surrounding, overwhelming peace. A suspension of time, a continuous present. If I look at the small device strapped to my wrist the numbers, even the small sweeping hand, seem ridiculous.”

The guy was so caught up in the world and his surroundings, the actual place and not the time or any schedule, that the object used for telling the hour of the day seemed even worse than obsolete, but ridiculous. It really makes one realize what actually matters in the broader scheme of things, if he or she will let it. Fighting it unknowingly by being swallowed up by the regularity and habits of the everyday world is one way to not let it reach the surface and go unnoticed – to go through life not only unaware but unappreciative of one’s surroundings is the most widely-used method of forgetting man’s place on the Earth.

I went through this whole day with those lines running through my head and it really helped me keep things into perspective. Work-, computer-, or relationship-related stress, the business of my reluctance to even have business, didn’t seem to bother me today. Like Abbey’s watch, it all seemed ridiculous.

Finally, I’d like to add that one of the reasons why Schlitz beer is magnificent is because it smells like a fart right after it’s opened. But this is just a single bit of proof off a long checklist.

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One Response to A Lesson from Edward Abbey

  1. amy a says:

    This has a lot of potential. Minus, of course, the first 3 paragraphs…

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