We had to take in the hummingbird feeders. Those birds will hang around as long as they're up, and winter is nearly upon us up here in the mountains. Yeah, it's still 70F degrees in Dayton, Ohio. It's 90F during the day in Sarasota, Florida. But here it barely got above 50F at the hottest part of the day, and is in the 20s in the morning. Last thing I want to do is to be responsible for freezing a family of hummingbirds.
So we take the feeders down in September in anticipation of the winter freight train.
I never thought I'd see the day when I had to say it.
I'm getting too old for this.
I met a guy named Nick Herbert. He is a famous physicist. He was interested in studying consciousness. So was I - interested in consciousness, not a famous physicist.
Going through piles of my old books I came across Quantum Reality by Nick Herbert, and also a bunch of his books of risque poetry.
I'm sure I wrote about meeting him back when I did. These days I'm kind of housebound, with chemo/immunotherapy, etc. so I find myself going through boxes of old stuff. There were the Nick Herbert books.
One thing I remember about Nick was that he was pissed at being passed over for a Nobel Prize. His collegues got it - they left him out. Now he wasn't doing any more research or teaching. He was just sitting in his cabin in the mountains writing poetry and smoking dope. I'm sure that's an oversimplification, but as I'm in the same position now, I don't feel like I'm talking out of school about anyone.
Not the poetry part.
I remember I met him on the beach at Santa Cruz. His wife was dying of cancer in a hospital room within sight of the beach. He was exploring consciousness. We walked up and down the Santa Cruz boardwalk beach for about 2 hours. Then he went back to the hospital.
He couldn't bear to leave her. He thought he could try to be with her even after death.
It seemed possible, at the time.
Now I know it is possible, but not the way he wanted.
Hard freeze this morning. The dog water had a hard crust on top. The berners love cold, being of Alpine descent. They obviously don't understand why I feel confined in 4 layers of poly pro and a hoodie. Cancer patients are always cold anyway - and in the winter it's downright cruel. I'm back to putting on my winter sweats and hoodie. Seems like it wasn't so long ago I put them away for summer.
And it wasn't.
But the whole Nick Herbert thing is a ruse. Yeah, it really happened, but I'm not writing about what was going on in my life at the time. I want to forget it so I concentrate on Nick Herbert and not the other things. I want it to be someone else. But it wasn't.
At the end of the day the guy who will burn for those sins is me.
Kind of vicious to think about that when I'm in pain of cancer treatment. But life is cruel. And I didn't make it less cruel being the idiot that I was. Maybe on my death bed I'll tell the whole truth. But actually, in the scheme of human history, it's not even a nit. It's a quantum particle. Not worth discussing because if you do, Heisenberg will change the story. Just as I am doing now.
I have to put the hummingbird feeders away for winter. But I can't figure out where they go. When I took them out, it never occurred to me that winter would return. I mean - yeah, I'm not a dolt. I understand orbital mechanics. The sun will rise. Seasons will change. It did for the ancient Vikings and it still does.
I just don't want it to be true.
We are expecting an El Nino winter, meaning ultra wet in the western US and dryer everywhere else.
Last year we got 18 feet of snow. That's basically 5.5 meters. It was a challenging existence, both living in it, and removing it from places vehicles and humans needed to be.
It was a slog last year, and I wasn't in chemo.
This year might kill me. I might have to move down to Phoenix temporarily to survive.
I am facing the reality of my retirement soon. Death is one thing - and I think about that alot. But retirement is actually more terrifying to me. I have always sacrificed everything for work. I've ignored family and friends. I cancelled engagements and eschewed all sorts of fun persuits because I had meetings coming up in city XYZ and I would have to travel 5 days for that.
Having a work schedule hanging over my head has distorted everything I do.
I make good money. I tell myself that's why I do it.
But truth is: I don't know how to do anything else.
Like right now. I have an on-line meeting coming up in 10 minutes. So instead of writing what I may have really wanted to say, I'll just tell myself I don't have time for it.
And as innocous as that sounds, I can assure you, it's the root of evil in our society.