-- Last Updated: Nov-01-13 8:34 AM EST --
So yesterday I saw a bunch of ghouls wandering around the neighborhood I was working in doing the trick or treat thing. They didn't see me, though. Funny how a person can just disappear to most of the world by merely going up on the roof.
I have to say, working in a light rain on uninterrupted 8/12 roofs without roof jacks gives me some pause these days. I just don't trust my balance like I used to. I don't know if its fear, exactly... I still do it (and without hesitation) if it needs to be done. But it makes me a little more nervous than it used to. And if such things don't make a person a bit nervous, they're reckless people and shouldn't be doing that sort of thing in the first place. (And, BYW, without insurance - unemployment isn't a good idea either, but at what point does making a living buy such shenanigans just become foolish? Also I have to remember, as it happens, my mother died on Halloween in a hospital getting a bunion removed - so should I really want health care anyhow?)
But real fear is an intense visceral thing, isn't it? It can paralyze. That's not what I feel. I just keep thinking about how often a person can expect to pull off stunts like this. Its a thing that happens in my head, not my gut. I guess it doesn't help that my father died this way (many years ago and when he was in his 80s) and that I once saw a guy fall from scaffolding and die... but such experiences serve to make a person careful - not fearful.
Been reading a book about the Mississippi and its role in the history of the US. The Civil War and the struggle for control of that river plays a prominent role in the book as does the vast amounts of money (mostly Federal tax dollars from the very beginning) that have been spent attempting to make that river "safe" for barge traffic and residents. The results have fallen short of unequivocal success, of course. And the unexpected problems such attempts have created in the Gulf and all along the way - increasingly large floods and pollution in the Gulf leading eventually to the loss of traditional fisheries, for example. And then there's the oil industry...
So in thinking about the Mississippi, this most American of rivers, I have to say I have some fear (again, in the head, not the gut) about living in a country that can be partisan and ideological enough to have a Civil War (think Shiloh) while at the same time being so consistently wasteful and arrogant as to suppose that we can micromanage one of the world's great rivers, and further that we're wise enough to do to good end. (For over 150 years - tell me again 'bout how we learn from mistakes...)
We can do amazing things when we work together but they're often things that in hindsight shouldn't have been done. We'd really rather fight each other than work together anyhow. And, as the Civil war demonstrates, there's just no limit to how far we might take it.
Its a scary and almost hopeless situation if one stops to think about it; so, of course, we don't very often. What good would THAT do? Would you or I giving ourselves ulcers, headaches, etc. help? Makes a fella' want to just go paddling.
I think snakes are scarey because they're ALWAYS closer than they should be when I first see them. To me, they're startling, but not anything to really fear.
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