My dog smells like whiskey. It’s true. I spilled a little on him last night while we were watching a movie. But I blame him—I was using him as a table for my glass of Tullamore Dew while he snored. He chose that moment to erupt in a spasm of twitches from some dog nightmare he was having and about 1/2 the glass rolled over his back. He didn’t seem too bothered and neither was I. There is always more whiskey.
I couldn’t sleep last night so I got into a little Bukowski. Which I sometimes do in the middle of the night. He was an enigma. A true warrior.
I’ve started re-reading ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ to try to inspire my own writing. It is such a masterpiece in story and writing style that I am hoping to glean some polish. I am stuck on my novel. Really stuck. I think the story is a good one, but it is not being told properly. And I can’t find the ending and so have no way to start building that bridge. Maybe that fucking thing will not ever get done. Surely, with that attitude….
All those years of dreaming of being a writer swirling swirling swirling and slowly going down the drain.
COVID in the US is slacking off a little, which seems positive. But I fear it might be temporary. Lots of countries that had early success (seemingly) are now having a resurgence and are back in lockdown.
I spoke to Sue on WhatsApp for an hour this weekend. Good to hear that South African accent and speak about MYO. We have some intractable problems at MYO that I cannot fix from here—and they are looming. Chief among them is our lack of a perpetuation plan. Vera runs the school the way she sees fit and that forgoes any sort of inclusion. So we have no teacher or staff perpetuation including leadership. Our managers come and go—without real mentoring or professional guidance, I think they chafe under the tight reins they are forced to work under. But I simply do not have the funds right now to pack up and take a year off. So it is a waiting game.
Operations is pretty good overall at least. I would like to see some more youthful teachers and some more positive outings for the kids. We used to have overnight trips to Gobabeb, Okonjima, and Etosha but Vera has axed those field trips. Those trips were so meaningful for the kids who grow up in a beautiful country but who cannot afford to see the big animals or some of the other amazing features of Namibia. Vera and I do not understand each other, but we are to some degree locked together out of a mutual need. And as long as she is there and I am not, I need to respect her authority to run things the way she sees it. Just the way it is.
I wonder what Hunter Thompson would have made of Donald Trump? Probably best he did not live long enough to witness this accelerated decline in our political state. He would have had something to say though.
Weather remains a cruelty, but we are mostly stuck indoors anyway, so not a huge deal. Me and Pops are getting our miles in though. 65 miles so far in February with only 8 days to go–so hitting 100 is going to be tough. More deep cold, snow and ice storms in the forecast. Not ideal walking weather.
Today I got out to the Medina Ice Festival to check out the sculptures. Lots of beautiful ice art on display and it was sunny and so lots of people came out. Except for the masks, it might have been a normal winter day. Someday, we will gather together and burn these masks. Like the draft cards and bras before us we will banish these items from our lives. Although it turns out they are pretty handy for keeping cold and flu’s under control too.
After a while, I spotted a cozy bar and pulled myself up to an activity that is more familiar to me than making ice sculptures; I ordered a nice Irish Ale and generous pour of Jameson. And it was so good I doubled down.
At the Bistro, my other occasional haunt, there are a couple of older ladies I’ve eavesdropped on before. As usual, they cover a lot of ground. Their travels and their kids and families and inevitable politics. They are on the right side of history in their political views, which makes them a minority in that place. One of the ladies, who I think must be close to 70 or so, owns some sort of business. Tonight she was saying she gets so sick of people pretending like Republicans are more business friendly than democrats. She’s never noticed a difference in regulations or bureaucracy between the parties. She and her friend are serious anti-Trump and have no issues letting anyone know.
Some good long walks this week in spite of lousy weather. But the sun was out today and that felt a little like heaven. Walking is soothing. Easy. Good time for reflection.
I thought today if I had a nickel for every good relationship I let slip away because I thought I wasn’t good enough…… well, I’d have quite a collection of nickels.
Sunday evening now. I got a little writing in today and now settling down to read a little Anthony Doerr and hope for writing osmosis to take place. Pops is chewing a soup bone I picked up from the butcher.
No other news of note.
THE GENIUS OF THE CROWD
by Charles Bukowski
There is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
Human being to supply any given army on any given day
And the best at murder are those who preach against it
And the best at hate are those who preach love
And the best at war finally are those who preach peace
Those who preach god, need god
Those who preach peace do not have peace
Those who preach peace do not have love
Beware the preachers
Beware the knowers
Beware those who are always reading books
Beware those who either detest poverty
Or are proud of it
Beware those quick to praise
For they need praise in return
Beware those who are quick to censor
They are afraid of what they do not know
Beware those who seek constant crowds for
They are nothing alone
Beware the average man the average woman
Beware their love, their love is average
But there is genius in their hatred
There is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
To kill anybody
Not wanting solitude
Not understanding solitude
They will attempt to destroy anything
That differs from their own
Not being able to create art
They will not understand art
They will consider their failure as creators
Only as a failure of the world
Not being able to love fully
They will believe your love incomplete
And then they will hate you
And their hatred will be perfect
Like a shining diamond
Like a knife
Like a mountain
Like a tiger
Their finest art