Tuesday, June 2, 2015

This Changes Everything!

Everything changes. The song may remain the same, but everything else ch-ch-changes. We change our minds much more often than we change our socks. That's just the life of a fickle animal. Squirrel!!

See what I mean. We're so easily distracted by glitter and gossip. I remember when I was about my son's age, my dog Hobo caught a rabbit in the fields behind our home. It wasn't unusual for our mutt to catch rabbits, and devour them. He was on his way to disemboweling this little shivering ball of bunny fur, when he spotted another rabbit. He immediately took off after his fresh prey, leaving the previous rabbit in shock, with its intestines feeling the fresh air for the first time in it's short life. I immediately felt the fear and pain of this little rabbit. I couldn't let it suffer, while Hobo was running through the woods in pursuit of a second helping. I picked up the largest rock I could find nearby and dropped it on the rabbit to end it's suffering. Then I went home and watched Speed Racer.

Maybe that's more an example of hunger and distraction than change. Let's see if I can remain on topic. I've changed wives twice, hoping that the third time's the charm. I've changed jobs more than three times, but not in any negative respect. I've even changed my residence a number of times, promising myself the last time that I was in Seattle to stay. Nothing is permanent. Not even the beauty of Seattle. 

Somebody said to me the other day, "I like the new look." All I had done was gotten a much needed haircut, and replaced my reading glasses. I had replaced my wire rim glasses, for more hipper plastic frames, and believe me, the word hipster was at no time in my mind when I shopped for new glasses. I was just looking for 2.50 magnification. I haven't had my eyes checked since I turned 40, and I'm sure my prescription has changed by now. One thing that doesn't seem to have changed is my ability to procrastinate when it comes to things like getting my eyes checked for the first time in over a decade.

I've found that when I've returned to my boyhood home of Massachusetts, that things haven't changed enough. Although, I'm not sure what kind of changes I would enact that would cause me to have any kind of love for the land of my youth. My Seattle neighborhood is changing too quickly and in a particularly ugly fashion, with sterile block houses, replacing the houses with character that have existed for years.

I recently read the western media headlines, that stated the tragedy of ISIS taking over these ancient cities with the intention of destroying the buildings and artifacts denoting that history. Meanwhile, back in Seattle, we're losing our cultural icons in favor of corporate sterility. Thanks Amazon! (You probably didn't pick up on the sarcasm there.) No more Mama's Mexican Kitchen or Leilani Lanes. No more limit on the heights of buildings to preserve the Seattle skyline.

Everything changes and it's only our emotional attachment to the way things are that make us sentimental and nostalgic for the way things used to be. Instead of getting together to bowl, friends stay in their individual houses (or countries) and play various war games on the internet. Instead of saving our wilderness, people are driving SUV's with names like Denali and Expedition. Vehicles that never leave the city.

Maybe that's the one thing that never changes: The absolute ability for human beings to be counted on to always do the dumbest, most destructive actions before their consciousness is snuffed out. Our legacy is destruction. The tearing down of what was is change, erosion, and we're experts at it. The next time you want to go bowling, turn on the Wii or warm up your smart phone. I'll be out here, using my flip phone and reading books made of paper. It seems that everything changes except my resistance to change, but -- as we all know -- resistance is futile.

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