"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Sunday, August 28, 2005
re-vise Function: verb Etymology: Middle French reviser, from Latin revisere to look at again, frequentative of revidEre to see again, from re- + vidEre to see -- more at WIT 1 : to make a new, amended, improved, or up-to-date version of 2 : what happens to history, sometimes
My order came to $4.00, but when I opened my wallet I only had $2.00 in cash. I hate those moments. Especially in a Dollar Store, of all places.
Of course, moments like this always happen when a store is crowded, like this one was, when the cashiers were understaffed, like these were, and when everyone was staring at me waiting on me to just finish and get the heck out of the way, like everyone was doing at that very moment.
Ah, wait... didn't I see a sign that they now accepted debit cards? Yes! Saved! I pulled my card out as if I had intended to use it from the beginning. "I think I'll be putting it on my debit card today."
She pointed at the small hand scribbled sign on the card reader: "Debit cards can only be accepted for orders of $7.00 and above."
"Oh," I said. I frantically began scanning the area to see what I could justify buying $3.00 worth of. Of course, the only things there were Neecos and candy pacifiers, neither of which I wanted. "Let me, uh, go ahead and pay you for seven things, then you hold these four and I'll go pick out three dollars more stuff." She agreed.
I figured that my best bet would be the food aisle, since anything I bought there could be consumed and used up, an advantage when I was getting ready to move. As I was looking at the shelves trying to decide between olive oil and Vienna Sausages (the sausages won, of course) a little black girl, maybe seven years old, came up holding an American Flag.
"Mister," she said, "Want to hear a real loud noise?"
"Sure," I said.
Yeah, I know, I'm the kinda guy mothers hate to have around, trouble just happens around me for some reason. It didn't occur to me until way later that this question was a really dumb one to answer that way. Especially on an aisle in a store when asked by a child holding an object attached to a stick.
WHOOSH. She waved the flag quickly from left to right. "Wanna hear it again?"
"Sure," I answered.
WHOOSH. WHOOSH WHOOSH. Luckily she managed not to hit anything, although for a moment I wondered if I would lose an eye or two.
She stood there, beaming at me. I beamed back.
And there we stood, just beaming back and forth.
I have no idea, really, how I managed to get from birth to eight years old. Whenever I am faced with a child between those ages, I am baffled as to how to communicate. So I usually just let them carry the conversation.
Problem is, of course, they have no idea yet how to do that. So my conversations tend to include a lot of the moments where everyone just stands around smiling waiting on something interesting to roll by so they will have something to talk about.
We beamed back and forth a bit more.
"Know what this is?" she asked me, with a determination only felt by those who NOW have something to talk about.
I lifted my eyebrows in a questioning look.
"Thisa American flag!" she beamed.
"Yep! It sure is!" I agreed.
"Know who made the very first one?" she asked me.
"Who did?" I asked, eager to let her show off her history knowledge.
She kinda curtsied from side to side. "Oh, you know..." she said.
"No, who was it," I asked.
She looked at me, chin held high with pride, flag waving, and said "March Luthaking!"
And with that she marched off down the aisle, leaving me feeling vaguely uneasy about our local school system.
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. --Will Durant, US historian (1885 - 1981)