The cold air we experienced for a couple of days has passed. Here I thought we were going to have an early winter, but yesterday we lapsed into what felt like an early autumn period of warmth. I had plans to do some more work outdoors, but instead got hung up with my camper, Rosie, who needed a new airbag because the old airbag popped. I waited for phone calls from the local mechanic. He and I called back and forth several times during the day, trying to determine the part number of the installed airbag. Somehow in the process I just gave up on the idea of working, and slunk in to my Adirondack chair and read. The warmth of the day had snuck up on me, the way my old tomcat used to tiptoe between my legs when I was not looking. I had no idea we were in for a day of warmth, and here it was. Many days go like that for me I guess, becoming something that I did not expect. I am hopeful that when the unexpected arrives it will be pleasant, rather than troublesome.
Reading a little bit of Amiel this morning, he talks about the entrance of children into this world. If children did not come into this world, if, instead, we had a massive amount of people who just lived here for a long, long time, never getting any older and never dying, the population would eventually become horribly corrupt. It is children that make people more gentle in their manners. They come from heaven and become part of a roughened earth. This is how a secret government is spread among us. Without this constant influx of an unspoiled and divine nature flooding society, people would lose their passion for living and become self-centered. Little new people come and bring a freshness that was given to them and that they in turn share with the rest of us. Science could go on for thousands of years discovering new things and trying to make our lives better. Children bring into the world purity, warmth, and devotion.
Everybody has the opportunity to be a mother or a father, and most of us have experienced that human affection when we were children that was bestowed upon us. I watch children playing on the beach and it always amazes me how much joy and happiness emanates from them. For many, the human warmth just gets blotted, or we get sidetracked by other worldly concerns as we grow. When children come into our lives, we get back some of what we have lost, and the world becomes a slightly better place. If nobody died there would be no future. Children bring the future into our presence. They do so unconsciously, and yet selfishly, because their growth and their life depend upon love. If they do not feel loved, they do not become full human beings. I’m not sure just how full a human being may become. In this modern society there are forces in place that do not encourage love, and do not seem to be concerned about human beings developing to their fullest.
The guy I saw walking around in the grocery store yesterday was inked from head to toe, and his poor darling girlfriend or wife was only half-inked, although she had quite a hairdo of red, brown, orange, and black, all ratted and knotted and twirled. This is a fashion of many of the young in the town where I live. The guy wore the strangest mismatch of clothing, but on the back of his T-shirt and in big tall letters read the word “SUICIDE”. You know, nobody has really explained to me very well what all of this culture that seems to be pervading the earth is all about. I just have to go by the values in which I was raised and think back about the cultural rebellion that was going on with me and my generation in the 1960s. I know that we were pretty wild. I had acquaintances who died of drug overdoses. So things were bad then. Most of the people that I knew, however, went on and raised families. Those who did not raise families still seemed to honor and respect life. I don’t know if I would trust these new inked people with children. I suppose some of them will figure out how to have children, and maybe that heavenly presence that comes will somehow change the hearts and minds of their parents.
The world is changing. As I grow older, it looks to me as if the entire world is tired and worn-out. Things just look dark and dusty to me. Politics, for example, doesn’t have the same appeal to me that it once did. Maybe in my youthful innocence I expected more forthrightness, honesty, and compassion, to spring forth from our leadership. The ideals that society lives by also seem to have gone through some painful surgery. What was once held in high esteem now seems to be the target of mockery and ridicule. I must have been sleeping for too many years while the world changed. Maybe sleeping is not the right word choice. I was busy raising children, sharing with them in an operation of love and joy, which seemed to me more important and more human than all of the issues that were being stirred up in society. So when I read from Amiel, his words speak to me.
It is nice to have your children raised, however. Mine don’t seem to want to have children of their own, so I guess I will not be a grandfather, nor my wife a grandmother. People in my situation just go get a cat or dog for a pet, and that serves quite well the purpose of summoning forth love, joy, and inner peace. If I knew that I were going to settle down and not wander around this planet the way that I do, I might get a little dog. They are so much fun. For now, I am enjoying the freedom from responsibility. I have been responsible for so many years, and that came about, I suppose, as a result of my love for my daughters.