The weather has shifted, and early mornings carry the softness of the emerging season. It’s still cool when I awake, still dark-ish, and I make coffee on the wood stove, then milk, this morning in just a tee shirt, the new sun almost hot on my back. By 7:00 I can hear a chainsaw in the the woods down the road. Then a second. It doesn’t bother me so much. I don’t mind chainsaws. They’re loud, but I guess they make sense to me.
We don’t go out much (well: no one does), and I miss those inconsequential meetings of circumstance, the ones that used to happen when I ran to Willey’s for a box of screws, a tank of gas, and one of those 50-cent orange creamsicle bars the boys and I are so fond of. I’m not so good at the intentional socializing these times demand, though I’m working on it. And though in many ways I appreciate this new, slowed-down version of my life, I can’t quite comprehend it yet. It’s like the tempo’s all wrong, and I haven’t quite figured out how to play with the band.
Yesterday, I took my first swim in the pond, barely a week after the last snow. The water was cold, but not as cold as I’d expected. I walked barefoot back through the orchard, dripping onto the newly-lush grass, which is getting noticeably taller every day. I’ll let the cows onto it soon, and they’ll eat it down in no time. God. How quickly everything can change. And how quick we are to forget.
Really enjoying this one from Drive-By Truckers. Sounds like summer to me.
7 thoughts on “How Quick We Are to Forget”
Very well-put, about the “tempo” and “playing with the band!”
Ben….Those inconsequential meetings still happen to me but on a tiny scale compared to the past. Most of my time is spent void of contact with others amplifying the isolation. I still forget the new manners and walk up to someone to chat, ready to extend my arm for a handshake. It’s automatic. Then I realize that I need to back off. Old habits really do die hard.
One of our GREAT human tragedies: your title to this post . . and it’s final sentence. Great insight and wisdom, as always. Thanks Ben!
I always enjoy reading your pieces. They make me feel that somewhere, all is right with the world. Reading this one tonight I am reminded of Thomas Merton’s writing while he was at Gethsemani- of course minus the spiritual references. A way of being and observing in nature that’s comforting and enlightening.
Ben, you tickled the ivory and struck a chord with this magnificent line, “It’s like the tempo’s all wrong, and I haven’t quite figured out how to play with the band.” Loved every word cous!
You milked a cow in ‘just’ a t-shirt??? Kinky! Orange cream sickles are good, but not nearly as good as ice cream sandwiches….
You’ll probably agree that while we may not actually forget, we simply lose sight for lack of having the discipline to check on different issues. I think we would do well to adopt the checklist behavior that airline pilots and anesthesiologists need to use in the dawns of their careers. I find myself “forgetting“ to remain silent as I watch events unfold, and thus perhaps say too much. “ Oh yeah, that is what I was up to.” Similarly, climate change and social justice getting obscured by a lockdown. We could use a little more discipline, a little more writing on our own bathroom mirrors.