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The Devil is the Work of God

June 7, 2012

Work-wise, San Francisco 2002 looks like it will meet all expectations and then some.  Needy folk are satisfactorily appeased, at least for the moment.  Shopping lists have been accomplished.  Taxpayer money has been spent vigorously and in a subjectively productive manner, but…

Damnit! This is not how I want the rest of my life to be.  Do I care because I care or because I am paid to care?  At times, I am unsure whether even I can tell the difference.  Am I really interested in the story being told or is my lie so often repeated that it precludes recognition of the truth?  Does it matter?  It is not a moral qualm.  Instead (and indeed), it is a questioning of myself precisely because of the lack of moral qualm.  I want to contemplate the question no more forever.

Today is my 38th birthday (and George Washington’s 270th).

I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and shortly thereafter abandoned Highway 101 for a two-laner through San Anselmo, Ross, and so on to Petaluma.  The route took me through the Samuel Taylor National Park.  Beauty abounded, as did soaring vultures (redundant, I know).  The trees were often surprisingly close to the road, which lacked the drainage ditches and/or CCC-built rock walls to which I am accustomed from driving similar winding canyon roads in Utah.

At the truck stop just before the return to 101 I was mistaken for a trucker by the friendly Marge behind the counter, probably due to the baseball cap and a pathetic – even scraggly – ongoing facial hair experiment.  I rolled with the flow, agreeing with Marge’s observation that a weekend ain’t all that different from the rest of the week for we long-haulers.

My wife loves me and wants me to be happy.

I don’t want to be evaluated, although I’m not sure exactly why given that I am generally assessed quite positively.  I suspect it is the “idea” of the evaluation that bothers me vice the evaluation itself.  I don’t want to have to think about the evaluation; don’t want to have to acknowledge that others will forever measure my worth.  Fear of being judged unfavorably by others often leads me to unfavorably judge myself.  Even in the face of positive feedback, I find myself convinced that I am undeserving of the happy appraisal and expecting that it is only a matter of time before my true weaknesses are discovered and my evaluations become more firmly based in reality (i.e more negative).

During occasional flashes of clarity, I realize that this thinking is misguided.  It can’t all be smoke and mirrors; there has to be some merit to the positive reviews.  While I personally know that I could do more and do better, I should not let that cloud in my own mind the fact that what I do do (doodoo?)  is often pretty darn good.  Unfortunately, these moments of right-thinking seem to be the exception, vice the rule.

My boy misses me and wants me to know that he got 100 on his math test this week.

Returning south on 101 I spied and subsequently patronized CompUSA.  The two resulting purchases revolved around personal goals/hopes.  I picked up an analog video capture card and editing software for the home PC that promises to help me translate all the old videos of weddings, babies, and growing, beautiful children into digital, DVD-player-ready VideoCDs.  Witnessing the deterioration of picture and sound quality of videos filmed of my eldest way back when his having feet the size of his father’s seemed unimaginable has spurred a desire to take advantage of new technology to save the past, mainly for myself but also for posterity.  The second item, an impulse buy, was a Guitar Instructional CD-ROM (endorsed by Peter Frampton!) that I hoped would get me off my duff and on my way to unleashing the six-string virtuosity I’ve always fantasized was within me.  (I never should have entered the store hungry.)

My daughter wishes I was there to give her a hug and hopes I can bring her a certain Disney video.

I should have been a long-haul trucker.  It is ironic that the personal trait that probably brings me the most stress and unnecessary angst is also that which most assuredly brings me the deepest, if fleeting, moments of unadulterated happiness.  I am, of course, referring to my never waning thinker – that perpetual chemical reactor in my head that causes me to fret endlessly about who I am, what “it” means, and wither all hell… but which also occasionally allows me to obtain an indescribable level of profound serenity and sense of “Spirit.”

Unfortunately, the moments of stress-free enlightenment come irregularly and any attempt to delve too deeply to suss out patterns to explain them simply plunges me back into a buzzkill doomfest of self-questioning and doubt.  Nevertheless, what can be safely confirmed is that long distance road trips and the experiences associated with them consistently take me to that higher plane.  I really should have been a trucker.

My beloved Grandfather, for whom I named my firstborn, passed away yesterday.

– North from San Francisco, February 2002

I miss you Grandpa.

From → Daydreams, Family, Ideas

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