diumenge, de maig 22, 2005

Seasons (English / Cornish)

The days have begun melting together now, in a never-ending sense of Saturday, lovely and slow, even when they're busy they bring the reward of rest near at hand. The summers in upstate New York are delicious, the springs sublime. Many people who have lived here their whole lives complain incessantly about the weather, but truly the spring, summer and fall of upstate New York are God's gift to us. The springtime is cool and moist, the fresh scent of new plant growth fills the sky, myriad flowers, but especially tulips and poppies, dot the landscape from the beginning to the end of the season. The rains come and bring a cool lushness to the earth. The summers are gentle and sweet, rarely hot and sticky; the sky is more often blue than grey in this region, and the falls are equally sweet and gentle, with many warm days that hold on well into October.

Today the rains threatened all day, but I still managed to walk about four miles through the Upper Union district of Schenectady and Old Niskayuna, neighborhoods full of mosstly 1920's and 1930's houses, well maintained with lovely little yards and gardens. This area has not experienced the same kind of decay wich has struck large swaths of other parts of the city, and it has remained a highly livable place, with a nice strip of small shops and eateries along Upper Unions Street. It was unfortunate that I didn't get any work done of the garage, but there are many weeks before I leave for Brittany.

The weekend was eventful, although like so many of these days this spring, with highs and lows. Friday I spent all day in Fulton and Montgomery Counties. First I had a "Development Day" - kind of like in service for professors - which lasted all day. In the evening, I journeyed into Gloversville, to the Vintage Manor, where we a had retirement party for two of our colleagues. The retirement party was no great shakes; the food was mediocre to poor, and the service was awful; moreoever, I had to make do with Tanqueray for my Gin and Tonics. The retirement speeches were rather long, and for one retiree in particular, not especially complimentary. Luckily my company at the table was good, even including the Vice-President of the College, who was unusually casaul that evening; all in all, I can't complain on my on behalf, still the night was not all it could have been.

Wosa henna, niver noweth a re deus y'n chy - niver yowynk ha cales gans blas da warno... caroryon ow bewnans, tra pur da yntre an traow trist... den yowynk tomm dhe gysi, pur da!

Saturay, after my long night Friday, I awoke and accompanied Carolyn to Vermont where we stocked up on alcohol; I noticed a deficit in my supply of Scotch, and so bought several bottles. I bought a bottle of Isle of Jura Superstition, Balvenie 12 year old, and Bowmore 12. The Bowmore is cheap, but I find a good day-to-day sipping sipping single malt. I also bought a bottle of Vermont Vodka, distilled from Maple sap, and I'm really looking forward to trying it out. Finally I bought a bottle of Hendrick's Gin in it's lovely dark brown, almost black, bottle. Hendrick's is the only Gin for which I would turn my nose up at Bombay Sapphire. After we stocked up on out liquor in Bennington, Carolyn and I went up to Manchester and had a late lunch at Mulligans, a kind of pubby place in Manchester Center.

We returned toward Albany, but made a stop at a very at a very interesting and inspirational place: the Grafton Peace Pagoda. The Peace Pagoda is a Japanese Buddhist center located about halfway between Albany and the Vermont/Massachussetts border, deep in the woods even some miles from the tiny hamlet of Grafton. It consists of a beautiful temple surround by trees, and quite an impressive stupa which you can walk around on three levels: grown, mid and upper levels, and thus make a sort of prayer walk by climbing the stupa. On the mid level there are friezes of Native American icons from various Creation Myths, attesting to part of the the reason the pagoda exists at all. On the upper level is the story of the life of Buddha in quite lovely friezes. (I will be putting some pictures from the center on the blog later this week.)

I say the place is inspiring because I have been dwelling for some years now on the question of my own spirituality. I cannot see myself ever becoming a Christian again. It has been so long since I was a Christian that not one cell in my body was even alive the last time I believe in any of their dogma. The Pagan Path seems to have been somewhat wrent from my being by my ersatz brush with death, as were nearly all spiritual inclinations I had ever had. My Unitarian Universalist beliefs are not sufficient fodder for my, nor very likely, anyone else's soul (whatever a sould may be...), at least not alone. It's one thing to have have questions, quite another to never seek their answers...

On the same token, I can't see myself ever leaving the Unitarian Universalist movement; it is deeply meaningful to me on psychological, social and ethical levels, all because the convergence of those liberal potentialities allow me to explore so freely other spiritualities, or rather, I should say, simply spirituality. I can, however, see myself moving toward Buddhism. Even in Binghamton I attended Buddhist meditation, and I am taking a great deal away from my Yoga classes. There is a simple logic to Buddhism which I admire, and knowing what I know about Buddhism already, I know I could easily be a seeker following the path of the Buddha, appreciating and following in the footsteps of my Celtic Pagan ancestors, and a good Unitarian Universalist. Really, the latter two are what makes the former functional anyway....

The rest of the day was less inspiring, but nonetheless instructional. Carolyn and I went for icecream, and then I went to Club Phoenix to meet friends. As luck would have it, I had a text message from J, and and he I went together. As the night progressed a couple other people I knew arrived, but since I knew I had to go to church this morning and be the Parlementarian, I couldn't enbibe too much. My comrades, however, were not so indisposed and by the time I left, were very very very drunk.

As always I left with a disconcerted feeling. After 33 years, I know what my sexual feelings are, and I know what kind of person I want to see between my legs. Nonetheless, I have so little in common with my fellow gay man, except my lust. I'm further from understanding them now than ever before. When I was younger, I just believed in the stories about love I saw in television. Now that I'm older, and have begun to come to terms with my own mortality, and the outright death of my dream of love, I realize that I have few mechanisms at my disposal for me to be ever be in touch with them.

I do, after all, come from a different world, apparently, and have journeyed someplace else. We can exist in the same phsyical reality, but, it would appear, not the same social one. Our expectations are very different, I suspect. I could be wrong. The friends whom I met are not quite so removed from my social reality, certainly not J, with whom I do have the potenital for a future strong social connections. However J is the exception and not the rule. Most everyone else in that "community" seems to have a radically different view of the world, one which I could probably never accept.

Still, Buddha inspired me, since I was able to be there and not feel the overwhelming depression I have various felt in clubs. As the night wore one, I found myself pondering the possibility that some day I would leave all my shallow, worldly chicanery behind me. It's hard right now to imagine the day where I would reject my pleasures of the flesh, but perhaps someday I will have become strong enough to abandon them. Sixteen years ago I never would have believed I could ever let go of romantic love, and yet, looking deep down inside, I know that it is dead. Only its ghost still haunts my memories and periodically makes me think it might still be alive...

1 comentari:

Gumbo42 ha dit...

When you gonna talk bout NASCAR, boy?