“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
Header Photo: Just an average hike on an average day in Red Canyon Country.



NOTE: Open post and then Single Click On first Post Photo to view an album in a more detailed, larger format...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Mind Meanderings: Incentive Lost and Found


It is reassuring to have a vast library of digital photos—tens of thousands taken over the course of the past fifteen years. I believe they will be of comfort in my old age. This "litmus test" of being idled on the "bench"—sent by the Universe for some perverse purpose beyond my ability to fathom—is proof that there has been purpose in wandering.  Someday, investments in travels will serve me well, jog fond memories, and give me something to do, show, and tell, in addition to passive pursuits like reading and watching Wheel of Fortune. A distracted mind speeds the clock and banishes woes, which makes me wonder if there will be a black market source for Viagra at the home...

It's funny how I can remember taking each and every photo, recognize where, when, and why…though, admittedly, I must often rely on Bobbie's keener memory for exact dates and names. It must be Bobbie's passion and prowess for Sudoku that sharpens her mind…or maybe it's beer that dulls mine. Whichever, we are both addicts...slaves to our common love of the western outdoors, walking, hiking, and biking all its nooks and crannies. 

Winter is a good time to indulge indoor distractions, our common love for watercolor painting, and Bobbie's penchant (addiction) for crafting handmade, personalized handbags out of scraps of material...something "pusher-man" Susan got her hooked on during our travels with her and Maikel last year. It helps to keep busy during winter…like mom said—shortly after she found the Playboy hidden between my mattress and box springs—"Idle minds and hands become the Devil's tools."

I often wonder how "hobby-less" retirees cope with the sudden windfall of excess time. My granddad Carder plopped his ass in a rocking chair squarely in front of the TV...from Days of Our Lives till Gunsmoke…and lasted about four years. Let's face it, if you haven't developed interests outside the "office" by the time you retire, retirement probably scares the beJesus out of you...enough to keep some on the old "treadmill" for lack of ideas on how to deal with the wealth of time suddenly in-lap. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, it's just seems like wasting an opportunity to look into doing something else for a change, rather than the same old thing you perfected years, if not decades, ago.  Let's face it work-o-holics, "If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." (Woody Allen) There are stimulating, purposeful pursuits that benefit mind, body, and soul outside the workplace…things like tap-dancing and air guitar.

So many senior activities are passive; "receptive" might be a better word. TV watching, for example, or cruise-shipping—which is similar to watching TV but on a much better and bigger screen. Parade watching isn't my thing; I'd rather be a participant...moving through Landscapes, chasing light and shadow as they cavort in mountain canyon and on grassy plain. A camera gives me an excuse to travel and hike, and traveling and hiking gives me an excuse for photography. It's a symbiotic relationship where the broader one's base of interests, the more they overlap into "purpose," which is what every human being craves whether they admit it or not.

Though we've never tried it, I think Bobbie and I would feel trapped on a cruise. I know there are lots of things to do, but most of them are too passive. We don't really care to exercise in gyms, not into gambling and/or drinking heavily...not to mention facing down those infamous endless buffets of rich, heavy food fare three times a day. I'm told at the end of the buffet stands a mountainous dessert bar as big as the deck pool, complete with a water-slide of chocolate syrup to top your "Death by Dessert" attempt at suicide. We have considered cruising the Inland Passage on a smaller "classroom" type ship, one that emphasizes educational over menu…you know, flora and fauna shit.

With various doctor and hospital appointments necessary for my upcoming surgery, I've been taking notice in "Waiting Forever Rooms" how life is a game of roulette, and how the "numbers" come up bad for some seniors. It seems an unfair "wheel;" some escape harm in spite of bad habits and deeds, while others fall prey in spite of good habits and deeds. It's unsportsmanlike of the Universe that those who work hardest at taking care of themselves and living honestly can't have a majority say in their own destiny and demise.  Incentive gets lost in the chaos; "Que Sera Sera" becomes our theme song; common sense is of no use when playing roulette for it's a game of chance. Meteors have always collided with planets, suns burn themselves out, innocent children die from cancer. Reality's "black holes" really do suck.

Life is not a Republic…it's not even a democracy; the Throne of God (Devine Law) my friends, is a dictatorship where neither good nor evil deeds count for or against. Throw Natural Law and reason to the wolves, as they are more random than not...some kind, some unkind. Poof. It's a wonder to me that we are as civil as we are given the "plane" we are on is going down.

There, you see, I've proved mother right, "Idle minds; Devil's tools." It's lonely here on the bench, and I can see her finger waving under my nose now. "I told you so!" Sitting out "the game" has given me a different perspective. I've come to the unfortunate realization that there are very few "players" in this world; the rest of us are understudies—subs on the sideline. We play supporting out-of-the-limelight backup roles like third string quarterback with clipboard and paper…which, if you look closely, the margins are filled with doodles because really, what are the chances? We are not the center of the Universe; most of us could snooze through life and not a single beat would be missed.  

I'll leave it to Woody Allen, again, to put perspective to chaos, "Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon."  




























Happy Friday…Now go take a hike.

21 comments:

  1. Climbing up "Q" mountain today. Okay, so it's just a little hill, but it's all we've got.
    And we feel the same about cruises. Never been on one and have no desire to.
    Enjoying your old photos!
    Gayle

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did a cruise in the Mediterranean on a small "sailing" vessel. Pro was we visited places on the coast that required much driving to reach, and we could unpack and stay unpacked. We're pretty much one and done on the cruise, and we'd NEVER EVER do a big ship.
    You do good work with that camera, thanks for publishing some more of your photos.
    Today is hill repeat day on the bike. It's still torture since I lost so much fitness last year. But at least my various parts are working this year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Funny you mentioned the cruise idea. We did our first cruise in Dec which put me out of touch for so long (besides staying in someone's yard before and after). Never again was our verdict. Ten days trapped is kind of how we looked at it. Our excursions were wonderful but way too short. Over four days at sea almost caused us to jump. Several of our bloggers were curious about it and now know they don't have to go on one.

    You are right about keeping busy in retirement. This lifestyle fits retirement perfectly for us.

    Love the photos of Many Glaciers. That moose is beautiful!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. When the heck is that surgery so you can recover and get back out? Too much thinking never does one much good...at least, not so much for me, just gets me into trouble. Adventure awaits...

    ReplyDelete
  5. i' ve suffered a few surgeries and procedures. some good outcomes and some why did i do that outcomes. i guess non of them were really bad outcomes. I wishing you the best outcomes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Have you seen heard of Viking River Cruises?

    http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/rivercruises/europe-danube-germany-2014/datesprices.aspx

    oh, to have the money ... I'm like you ... I just have never had a desire to do a cruise but this river cruise sounds really good.

    think you ought to put your photographs in a coffee table type book ... just beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  7. Get yourselves on the Alaska Marine Highway... don't need a state room, a sleeping bag will do, but you do need a reservation for your vehicle. Or suppose you could be a walk-on and do a round trip. You can leave from Bellingham WA (I think it still is) and get off and on at different stops, on up to Skagway. It's a 3-day run to Haines and another half-day or so to Skagway. Lounge around and drink beer, shoot the breeze with a bunch of tourists, watch for ice floes and marine life, whatever suits your fancy. Do your own thing; you can board with your own food. The AMH has a website. I lived in Alaska (Fairbanks & Anchorage) for 15 years and rode the ferry a few times. -Annette (a lurker and occasional commenter) P.S. Good luck next week, take it easy, all will be fine.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good talking to you on the telephone today. I'm expecting Manning and the Broncos to win over Brady and the Patriots. Game time 1PM, Sunday.

    As I was reading your blog, Rihanna was on the radio singing "I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed and I get along with the voices inside my head". How funny, we all have monsters.

    I remember many of those great pictures from your journeys that you posted today.
    My favorite, Glacier and the monster, I mean moose.
    John Q

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good talking to you on the telephone today. I'm expecting Manning and the Broncos to win over Brady and the Patriots. Game time 1PM, Sunday.

    As I was reading your blog, Rihanna was on the radio singing "I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed and I get along with the voices inside my head". How funny, we all have monsters.

    I remember many of those great pictures from your journeys that you posted today.
    My favorite, Glacier and the monster, I mean moose.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amazing, I think, the things we think when facing such unknown shake - ups in our itinerary. I find adjusting to what is much easier than wondering what comes nest.... Guess this is what makes us adventurers. Soon the wondering will be done and you will start on the road back to life on your terms. Keep busy.... it helps to keep the lurking wondering thoughts at bay. Here is to good health and recovery. Cheers!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hmm...you know me well enough by now to know I am not one to sit around and be a passive watcher, but I do love a good cruise. It is a bit like a motorhome in that you don't have to pack and unpack, and you get to be in places that would be really hard to get to otherwise. Wouldn't want to do too many of course, but sometimes they are really fun and its like a different kind of thing. And as for that hobby thing...I have wondered the same thing....I would go crazy if I didn't garden, knit, quilt, and WRITE!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Went on a cruise once and don't need to go EVER again. They are not meant for independent adventurers. That first photo reminds me my heart belongs to CO. I'm loving my time here in south Texas but I'll be ready to return to CO when the snow starts melting. Good luck with the surgery.....you know there's a book in you just waiting to be written :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. My parents retired...to the couch. Neither one has any real hobbies, my dad fishes occasionally, my mom likes to shop which is dangerous. As for cruises, every time I see shows promoting them I shudder inside. I just can't imagine being trapped on a big boat with all those people, stopping somewhere interesting only to be told I have to get back on by a certain time. Seems like most people go to eat and drink cocktails all day. I like to eat and all, but how many meals in a row can you overindulge and not feel miserable?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great pictures. I agree about the cuising. At least when you're walking and cycling you earn your beer!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. More thoughts about your book. __________+I can tell you have been sitting around way too much. Looking forward to you getting back to screaming rant form soon take care
    Walden creek Rv. Steve

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your lovely pictures should banish anyones doldrums...even yours. Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  17. Never been on a cruise...don't want to! Besides, I don't think our 4 pups would be welcomed! We don't go where they can't go! Love the moose pictures...I so wanted to see one when we were in Many Glacier...not to be that time so I am thinking a return trip is in order! Your photography WOWS me! Just beautiful and oh the memories you have. After teaching school for 34 years, staying busy and enjoying life is a priority!

    ReplyDelete
  18. You'll be back in the game in no time. Keep your head up! Stay strong! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. You know how you always say leaving out in Goldie tastes that much sweeter because you are not a full timer? Living in a S&B part-time makes hitting the road for the first time that much more exhilarating? Well, just think about your time in the "Waiting Forever Rooms" as sweetening the pot. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Laverne here:

    Was waiting for the game to end to send this----Yea Bronco's!!! Hope their win makes you feel better! These pictures are outstanding! Sent my mind reeling.....thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am trying to come up with a title for that book, maybe something like with Bobbie & Mark. You have covered a lot of territory my friend , now just remember to keep thanking the Universe cause I think she has a lot more adventures planned for you.
    Ok, now you can't say our 49er's did give America one of the best shows of the season. Problem was Haubaugh was using Bill Walsh's playbook and Colin is no Joe Montana.
    You got cruising right, I always say it's like being trapped inside a Mall for a week and there ain't no Nature there baby.
    Now I am surprised Mark to hear you say you like photographing churches. My friend wait till you see Notre Dame, Paris and then step inside and hear the organ. (my change your life, only I would hate to see you in a monk's rob)
    You know dam well you will be fine with this surgery. You are in great shape, that will make all the difference just don't down a six pak before hand.
    From Sonoma Co (home of Russian River Brewery, & Pliny the Younger, coming soon
    (you got the part about the wine right on also)
    Stay thirsty my friend

    ReplyDelete

The Box Canyon Blog is an interactive site. Don't just sit there, PARTICIPATE !!!