I don't see that gray-beard on the bridge as my old man look, but as my rugged Ernest Hemingway look. Ernest never made it to 70. Didn't make 69 either. He pulled a trigger at 63 and messed up his walls something awful.
So what am I planning for the year ahead. It certainly isn't the Hemingway solution, I don't even own a shotgun.
We never quite know for sure the what and when of our final solution, do we? Therefore, it isn't worth fretting; however, I thought mine was to be flocked to death by geese on the first day of this new year.
Off for my morning walk, January 1, just after dawn, I parked at Alapocas lot Number 2. As I got out of the car a small V of geese came over the adjoining golf course to my left. They corrected their coordinates as I exited my car to fly directly above. I don't like geese flying overhead, not with the reputation loosey-gooseys have.
Then the clear blue sky cleared of all birds-on-the-wing for the short time it took me to almost reach the underpass on the street. Suddenly there was a commotion like you never heard. It shook the earth this grand honking cacophony. I turned in the direction of this sound of geese honking in full throat, many geese.
Over the hill they came, this tremendous swarm like some invading air force. I thought the birds had revolted, that Alfred Hitchcock's profile would appear on the wall of the underpass and I would disappear as bloody pulp beneath beating wings and pecking beaks. It really was an awesome and noisome sight.
(I counted and there are over 300 geese in my photo and I didn't even capture the rear guard.)
Then the geese broke off into groups and went flitting here and yon. All coming back after a big New Year's Eve gathering, I suppose, a bit tipsy, a bit confused as to how to start the year.
So where does one, goose or man, begin a new year? I'll just start where I left off the last year.
I will take my usual early morning walks on my non-work days. I did so today and the rest of the photos accompanying this diatribe were taken on the new trail I tried. (I mean a new trail to me. The trail itself was as old as dirt; in fact was dirt. So, since I am also as old as dirt the trail and I had common ground and got along famously.)
This time I crossed the Rubicon, the Brandywine Creek anyway, to the other half of Brandywine Creek State Park. I have never walked that portion. I decided let's give her a go, me lad.
I remembered to tuck my cell phone in my pocket for the first time, too. It just occurred to me that I never tell anyone which park I am headed off to walk. What if something did happen or I got lost? No one would know where to begin looking for me and I knew no one would even suspect I headed to this particular place.
Anyway, we all know I am going to go on trudging down some woodland trail alone, that's just my nature, but isn't new news.
I don't think I have any new news actually.
Wife, working, walking, writing are pretty much the four big Ws of me life.
Wife will be a nice round number this year as well, fifty years married. I don't foresee any changes there.
Work, well, work I must.
Just where do I intend to go in my writing going forth?
For one thing, I want to get back to doing entries in my "Night Writing in the Morning Light" Blog, which I haven't yet, and continue adding to "Nitewrit's Own Harmony", which I have.
I wrote a post covering Jesus' reading of Isaiah and being accused of blasphemy as a result and almost getting thrown over a cliff; my little examination of "Jesus Is Rejected in Nazareth", mostly from Luke 4:16-30. It is an adventure story.
As for "Drinking With Elder Men", I collected related posts from last year into several books. There are seven of them.
A Writer Walks and Writes of Walking (Rambling thoughts as I went ambling)
Bends of the Brandywine: Adventures of The Kid as a Kid (A kind of autobiography)
Lava from the Lair (Some of my past published essays and commentary)
Life, Death and the Lonely Art (Title pretty much describes the subject matter.)
Modern Inconveniences: Living with Frankenstein (My struggled with today's technology)
Pretzels for Lunch (My Life in Philadelphia)
This Old Man (Everything else)
If someone has an interest in reading these narratives, here is what you do. Once in my blog, go to the right hand side and down to the title, "Keepsakes: Related Post Subjects" This is an index (Labels if you prefer). The books are listed first. Simply click on a book and its chapters will pop up. Click on the chapter you wish to read.
I will be doing the same thing with whatever I manage to produce in this The Year of Our Lord 2011.
There will surely be another volume of rambling stream-of-consciousness thoughts illustrated by photos from my hikes. I can't help myself; its what I do.
I have no title for it yet, perhaps the "Frigid Photographer".
No, that won't work for the whole year. In a few month it will warm up, the trees will bud and next thing you know I will be happily sauntering about in just T-shirt and shorts; not even sox.
So perhaps the "Naked Photographer"?
Of course, that would be deceptive, but "Near-Naked Photographer", I don't know? Still, when I look at the list of my "Most Popular Posts" or my stats, there were two essays I did last year that rank at or near the top.
"Mirror Mirror on the Wall Don't You Show Then What you Saw" and "There Is Nudity In This Post" both spoke of or hinted at nakedness and my readership spiked up when both appeared. Now I know what draws the public curiosity, so "Naked Photographer" might be just the thing to draw an audience.
The other grouping I have decided to do I have called "Contankery Road", and that first post of this year, "So New Year's Begins-2011", would qualify to be in it.
This was kind of a cantankerous old trail I was on this morning. I came to this fallen sapling across the trail early on and fully expected a limbo band to pop out from behind a tree.
"Yo, ho, don't you know?
Yo gotta get down; gotta get low!"
Did I bend over backward and go under?
Are you crazy? Didn't you read the first paragraph. I'm almost 70, for Pete's sake! No, I stepped over it.
Now we return you to "Cantankery Road". I started out calling it plain "Curmudgeonry", but a curmudgeon is a bad tempered and surly person. I don't feel I am really very surly.
I am not bad tempered or uncooperative or argumentative for that matter. That is why I am still unsatisfied with that title. I may not be either a curmudgeon or a cantankerous old foggy.
I am really a pretty even-tempered dude who doesn't much dislike anyone.
But "Even-Tempered Road", where's the excitement in that?
Maybe if I described what kind of content this collection will contain someone would have a better title suggestion. There won't be any prize for coming up with one though.
I will be writing about certain issues of the times where I have questions. Now I don't want anyone to get confused. I don't do political, don't like politics, don't like politicians and won't indulge in polemics with anyone.
After all, you're wrong, I'm right, and that's the end of it, you twit!
That's how political arguments always end, isn't it?
Anyway, back to the non-political statement on the floor that sounds a little political. I want to write about issues that might sound political, but they won't be because I am interested in knowing what's what, not pleasing somebody's agenda, even my own, if I have one.
Today there is a mother-lode of talking heads and loud-mouths in the Media telling us what to think. This side says that and that side says this and consequently nobody says much of anything helpful. So I have questions — about everything - I'm going to ask my questions. Who knows, someone may have an answer.
What kind of questions?
How about questions about the law that will soon go into effect banning the incandescent lightbulb? Will the CFLs really save energy? Will they create "Green Jobs"? Are they safe to use? What about all that mercury? Is there all that much mercury?
How about the recent report on improved employment. Is the report looking at prunes and seeing plums? Is the fact first-time unemployment claims peaked in October 2010 really meaningful? Is the fact first-time unemployment claims decreased in December really meaningful? Has the unemployment picture been altered forever?
We'll see how it goes.
It may be difficult for me because some of those questions touch on controversy. I may express an opinion that another doesn't like and I don't like to be disliked. If you had been paying attention, you will remember I actually started two previous posts off exactly the same way ("On My Fences" and "Lost in Transition"):
"Perhaps the biggest handicap in life is wanting everyone to like you. It fences you in and is a hard rail to climb over. It isn't logical and it borders on insanity. It's a syndrome. It is self-suffocation.
"And along the line The Kid caught this disease."
I had intended to explain that quote in a later chapter of The Kid's life, but somehow never got around to it.
What else will I scribble about?
Speaking of The Kid, I will certainly continue with his life as he graduates high school and moves into adulthood, gets married, goes to work and all that good stuff.
And I will certainly continue to write of the absurdities of living as they happen.
I hope some Gentle Readers will be there in that distant Blogospeare.
Hmm, the trail is getting a bit spooky looking. I will have to do a post on just what I got myself into down these overgrown lanes.