Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Reading at random, as I often do, through works like Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy or Schreber's Memoirs, allows me to feel part of an enduring community of the restless, a continuously agitated specie of homo sapiens.
I'm never content. I've never been content. Were I to find contentment, I'd likely die from boredom. One thing I rarely am is bored--the restlessness prevents l'ennui.
Sunday Cha and I took a fake Dollar Store Frisbee clone onto the big lawn in front of Stephens Hall. About half the time I couldn't throw the damn thing properly, which got me thinking: when was the last time I threw a Frisbee? 15 years ago? 20? Then I realized I haven't played softball or a pickup game of hoops in at least 12 or 13 years. Instead of simply enjoying an hour throwing our flying disc toy around, I turned said disc into an emblem of lost time, a Proustian lemon cookie. Making things worse was the fact that I could barely run after the Frisbee because my shinsplints were hyperactive after a four-mile run earlier. Not only was I reeling at the thought of decades of Frisbee-lacking, but I felt like a crippled old man. I'm unable to simply have fun, catch and throw, look at the skyline and the sun in the trees.
That's the problem. Or not--I'm not sure it's a problem; it's my nature. I've read enough Buddhism to know that Monkey Mind is regarded as a problem, but should I control it or let it run free?
While running Saturday I found a while and blue parakeet on the sidewalk. Obviously he was out of his element and ailing, so I tried to catch him. I'd click and whistle and crouch down, he'd hop over and sing at me, obviously domesticated--but as soon as I tried to grab him or catch him with my cap he'd fly ten feet and look at me. I chased him down a hill and into a cement culvert with running water. The bird was ecstatic to find water, and drank and drank and splashed vigourously for a few moments as I approached, but again, while he wasn't spooked by me, he wasn't interested in being captured either. His tail feathers were half gone; whether this was due to stress or some predator I wasn't sure, but I thought I should try to get the poor guy and take him home.
No luck. He got tired of playing with me and flew into a tall tree where promptly he was attacked by several birds who chased him up the road.
We already have a pet dove that hates us.