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At a wedding in Seattle.

Under here.

October 8, 2008

On Reading
Wednesday. The sky is clear this morning, off to breakfast at the usual time to the usual place, the usual Wednesday morning group of locals having their business breakfast, another speaker selling them soap and making it difficult to concentrate while reading the papers. Nothing I should complain about, my local café undoubtedly needs the business, and if it makes it difficult to read, well, I can make it a point to arrive later. Too many things out there to get you in a snit these days, no need to anguish over snits you can fix by arriving later.

Still, it's gotten you to “anguish” over them here.

Yeah, I understand for all my protestations they really do get under my skin, but Zen lessons always get under your skin: no pain, no gain. It's rather like fuming over people who wear funny hats: all the fuming is inside your head, a head, I might add, that often sports a (funny) hat of its own.

So, all this reading of the papers? You've been following the election?

Between the market meltdown and the campaign I'm hiding. No question whom I'm voting for come November, but I'm tired of all the crap. Same with the financial crisis. It's like watching some ancient reptile on its last legs violently flailing about while its brain begins to get the message it's dying. All this will work itself out no matter, I suspect, whatever they end up doing, but it's ugly and emotionally wrenching. Not useful to write about it, not useful to think about it, maybe a vacation on a beach somewhere, come back when it's over and the thin skin of sanity has settled.

No way you're going to go sit on a beach, not after following you here. I'm not sure we could get you to go to the post office, let alone cross a border. Besides, isn't that the coward's way out, covering your ears?

One man can only withstand so many Zen lessons in a day, day after day, week after week. They do studies on these things, I believe they've learned they can drive you crazy. Also, a note: I've never been someone to sit on a beach. Too easy to get sand in your cameras.

Later. The David Wallace books Infinite Jest and Consider The Lobster arrived this afternoon. Infinite Jest is over a thousand pages. I knew this. I'd also heard it could be a bit opaque, so no surprises. Lobster is considerable shorter and other than reading a few pages of the Jest first for flavor, I'll start with The Lobster. It's always best to get to the Jests after The Lobster. Puts you in a better mood for frivolity.

An odd choice for someone who says he doesn't read all that much anymore.

You can give up on writing, but you don't give up on reading.

The photograph was taken at a wedding in Seattle with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at 1/40th second, f 2.8, ISO 800.