Monday, September 26, 2011

Storm at the outfall

Clover Point is one of the sites of Victoria's infamous sewage system. Awful isn't it? In the summer the little promontory is congested with tourists, but when the story season arrives, it's Victorians who line the shore to watch the waves pound the rocks. We like to watch the ships pass by along with the odd whale or seal, and always the seabirds. Today a half dozen windsurfers skimmed the waves.

When I retired I thought I would have a lot more time to spend on projects like this blog, but it hasn't worked out that way. Not having anything to do is apparently something difficult for me to handle. Oh, there are always things to do, such as wash dishes, do laundry, grocery shop, vacuum the floor and such like, but it's not quite the same as having to drag myself out of bed in the morning and get to a job I need to have in order to pay my rent. Rent is a necessity, laundry, which I used to have to squeeze in on days I wasn't working, I can always do tomorrow.
For someone who writes for a living, a blog would be a job just like any other. But doing a blog that nobody reads seems quite futile. Anyway, does the world need another pundit? I'm almost glad nobody reads it, otherwise it would be like being married to an ugly wife. Because sometimes you just don't feel like doing it. I read several blogs and I admire their authors for the work ethic they must have to keep it up every day, year after year. Yet they do have to say pretty much the same kinds of things over and over again and I don't envy them that kind of dedication. It requires a certain courage of conviction that I don't have. I think I'm right about a lot of things but I don't fool myself into thinking I'm some kind of expert on anything. I'm acutely aware of how limited any human being is to fully understand even the least of life's mysteries. That doesn't mean we should stop trying, but it does mean that as soon as we think we've got it all figured out we can count on something coming along to give us a shake.
Nevertheless, as a human being immersed in the world of mortals there are times when even the most reclusive of us must pick a side and run with it. Storms come along in human affairs just as surely as they do off Clover Point. Some of us run away from storms- it's probably the most rational thing to do- while others jump into the middle of them, just like the windsurfers who heard the storm and stopped whatever else they were doing to jump on a piece of plastic and plunge into it.
I think we human beings are built for struggle. While in the midst of it we long for peace and comfort, but without it we pine away. We have succeeded in building a world where struggle isn't necessary. In a developed country in my lifetime it has been pretty well impossible to starve or freeze. It can be done, but you really have to try hard. Maybe struggle is like gravity. We often wish we could do away with gravity and levitate to wherever we want to go, but it's gravity that makes it possible for us to move at all. Without the resistance of our weight against the greater weight and resistance of the earth beneath us we wouldn't be able to propel ourselves forward. We would be like an astronaut floating in space, flailing his arms and legs to no avail.
As for this blog, I'm not sure if I'm back or not. I certainly feel like that astronaut floating in space flailing away to no avail, but maybe I can learn to enjoy flapping my arms.