October Talk

Oh boy, another October day. We cannot have enough of them. 31 is not enough for me. The earth takes on such a wonderful, soft and golden glow, when October comes rolling around. This year, however, October needs to bring along a little bit of rain with it. We are so dry. California is going to just shrivel up like a dead leaf blowing in the wind if we don’t get some soon. I’m afraid we will become declared no longer a part of the nation if we don’t soon see our forests and hills prospering with a new green. The old green has lost all of its greenness. I don’t know why it is in nature that green turns to brown. Why doesn’t green turn to red? That would seem more natural to me.

Yesterday I went to visit my friend Craig who lives by the lighthouse on the north side of Santa Cruz. He has lived there for about 40 years. He is a landmark in that neighborhood. When I go visit him and knock on his front door, I can hear the seals barking on seal rock just below the lighthouse. It’s almost as if those seals are his doorbell. Craig does not get around too much. He doesn’t go outdoors nearly as much as he should. He always looks pale. He broke some bones a few years ago that never healed very well. He found out that he has osteoporosis. He is afraid to walk around very far without his walker. So he stays indoors a lot and remains pale-skinned, and when he moves very far he moves along with his walker. We used to do a lot of hiking together in the Santa Cruz mountains many years ago. Too bad we can’t keep doing that. Now we only sit and talk about what we used to do together. I would much rather be out just doing those things instead of staying indoors on a beautiful October day and talking about those things. Talking is okay too of course when you’re sharing hours with an old friend.

A friend of Craig’s was also there visiting yesterday. He too is injured. He is a tree worker, and I understand that he fell out of a tree. The fall seems to have caused a few bones to crack, and a few ligaments that are important in how one swings one’s arm seem to have gotten a good yanking. So he is also, like my friend Craig, unable to do any work. And here I am just recently retired. Three old guys sitting around the house on an October day with nothing more important to do than discuss all the things that people are not supposed to discuss.

We discussed them with courtesy and thoughtfulness toward each other, but we both agreed that the new Republican candidate for President is not a very strong candidate. None of us could understand why it is that the press thinks that this candidate won the recent debates. But what do we know? I have hardly followed any of the political campaign story this year. The way the process works seems always go about the same way, the ideas that are bandied around are usually not well thought out, in my estimation. Rather, what the candidates talk about seem to be limited by the conventional thinking of the platform to which they belong. I already know the conventional thinking of the two platforms, so why would I want to hear it all over again from some new candidate in some new campaign who is trying to make me think that the platform somehow has changed recently, when I know that it has not changed? It has not changed for years. This new speech recognition software that I am using permits me to go on rants so effortlessly. I feel like I could become a political commentator with this little headphone and speaker strapped around my neck.

As much as politics never seems to change, so it is with religion. The three of us spent more time discussing religion yesterday than we did discussing politics. We didn’t talk so much about the form and structure of religion, nor the nature of God or a relationship with the underlying meaning of the universe, but more about our personal experiences in life that seem to display evidence of the existence of God. Craig’s friend has had some pretty unusual experiences. Many of us have. For me, it is always an interesting thing to hear how it is that other people have had some kind of brush with the divine. I probably encouraged Craig’s friend to go on and on with descriptions of these otherworldly occurrences, until we wore ourselves from talking. All in a day’s lack of work.

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