old man papa poet
it happened. it happens to everyone. i turned 44 today. with a little bemusement and a lot of head scratching. not because i regret being in my mid-40s -- hardly, i'm pleased to be here at any age -- i am simply wondering how does the time go so fast. you know, we all feel this, one moment your 25 the next you are staring down the barrel of 50 years.
the day went well. my co-workers decorated my cube like a haunted house. because they know i love halloween imagery. there were zombie babies, severed limbs, disembodied heads, lots of bats and pumpkins, a real abattoir. then there was work to get thru. afterward my friend, p., a pilot took me for an hour's flight over the flat lands of the valley, toward folsom lake [and the famous prison beside the lake], over the lake to then turn toward rancho seco, the decommissioned nuclear power plant, and back to the airport. a great flight and an exhilarating ride. pics to come tomorrow.
the weather is back to nearly normal for this time of year. we didn't get a spring. we got a long, wet winter, and now it is sunny and hot. oh well, spring and fall last both, if we are lucky, no more than two weeks. the wet weather made me happy because it reminded me of swedish summer days, but the hot weather makes me happy too. wherever we grow up that is the place where we measure all other landscapes and weathers by. so for me summer is supposed to be blazingly bright and hot.
i titled this post partly 'old man' for two reasons. one is because i was calling my father old man at this age i find myself, and two because a co-worker was teasing me about being an 'old man papa' because i have a 6 year old. i'll take that. i felt i was old when i was young and now i think the years are starting to catch up. besides simply being alive can blow my mind open.
i love being a father. hands up, or down, i love it. nick is an astonishing great good. but he's also a great person. for example, a couple of weeks ago we went to the county fair with our friends b. and s. and their son j., who is a couple years older than nick. both kids love each other and go ga ga together. well, it got very rainy at the fair, a real humdinger, so we decided to have an early dinner at a neighborhood pizza joint. this pizza place has a bank of video games that the kids like to play. it also has one of those claw machines where you can try to get a stuffed animal with the claw. nick has been trying to get a prize out of that claw machine for ages. we are sitting at a table where we can watch the two boys and we see j. get a stuffed animal out of the machine. a wonderful feat. then nick takes a turn at the machine and wins a stuffed animal. j. tries again but didn't get an animal. nick goes for a 2nd time and we see him get a stuffed animal. our jaws are dropping because we can't believe nick's good fortune. the claw deposits the animal, i can't remember what it was, into the chute and nick bends down to retrieve. he straightens up with the toy, and hands it to j. who immediately cuddles it. that was the most astonishing act of kindness i've witnessed. nick is not just a good kid, but he's a good person. both anna and i are so proud.
there it goes. another year and another day. this morning i was reading the poems of stefan hyner, a german buddhist political poet, and came across this passage:
I demand excessive joy & fresh air.
i'll let that be the epigraph for today.