Sunday, May 22, 2005

More Junk About Detours

Reading: Nothing right now...waiting to get Walden back out from the library.

Listening to: Jane's Addiction: Nothing's Shocking I forgot how good this album is.

Simple pleasure: There's an oriole singing and building a nest in a ginormous maple tree in our yard.

I wonder how many people can enjoy following a path of random chance as I often do. I'm not talking so much about the major choices and decisions in life (although Sylvana and I once picked up stakes and moved from eastern Wisconsin to eastern Minnesota on little more than a whim), but the little day to day things. It seems like the more flexible and willing I am to "follow the current where it takes me", the more often I'm rewarded by witnessing something really cool, or finding a short cut I never knew existed, or finding a cool rock on the side of the road to put in the garden, I could go on...

The other day, as I was leaving work, I had to decide whether or not to get gas. The tank was pretty low, but I thought I might have enough to get me by another day. It's not a big deal, except for the fact that to get to the only gas station between work and home I have to cross a couple lanes of traffic that are almost always packed with commuters going in both directions, and without the benefit of a stoplight, I could conceivably be waiting there forever. So, I made the decision to make no decision, or rather, I made the decision to let the circumstances dictate my decision...If I got to the intersection and it was clear, I'd go get me some gas, and if it wasn't clear, I'd simply just take a right turn and go home.

As it turned out, the intersection was momentarily clear, so I motored right through to the gas station. After I got the gas, I left; well, actually, after I got the gas, I had to wait in line behind a co-worker buying lottery tickets who went on to tell me he had earlier this week made $56 on a $10 "investment", but then I paid for my gas and it was time to leave.

Again, I faced the choice of either turning left (and having to wait possibly forever for a break in the traffic) or taking a right and taking the long way home (like Johnny Virgil, I'd rather be going 75mph the wrong way than 15 mph the right way). I followed my earlier protocol and when I got to the exit from the gas station and saw an interminable procession of cars in the southbound lane, I took the simple right turn instead, and headed off on the long way home.

As I drove onward, I was headed down a little country road that crosses a small river. It's an area known as an excellent wildlife habitat. As I approached the bridge, a robin came flying out of the woods, carrying what looked like a french fry in it's mouth. At the same time, a pickup truck was nearing the bridge in the oncoming lane. Suddenly, the robin lost his grip on the french fry. It dropped from his beak, and he swooped back down and around to catch it, which he did, only to drop it again almost immediately as he tried to improve his grasp. So he swooped back down and around again, and almost caught it, but it bounced off is beak. All the while, the robin is getting closer to the ground and the pickup his bearing down on him. The bird contemplated going after it one more time, then decided against it, swooping out of the way of the truck that was about to smack him out of the air. I drove past, and looked in my rearview mirror to see him settle down on the now empty road and pick up his french fry.

It was, like, transcendant and junk.


At 5:25 PM, Blogger sideshow bob said...

Is it lame to leave a comment just so you don't see that terrible zero by the comments? Not if no one else reads the blog...

At 10:45 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

Sounds like the robin was having a few hurdles of his own.

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Pirate said...

Zen Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. You and I belong to a small group. Actually is the only book I have ever read multiple times.

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