Friday, March 30, 2012

Three Turns Before Laying Down

Dogs have an awesome capacity for earnest momentary surprise. A condition most often noticeable when asked if they want something – to go out, take a walk, have food. As if in that instant the idea is a never-before-heard concept, and the greatest ever uttered to them. One they never thought you would ask. There is an implicit expectation, and trust, that comes with it, that what has been said is what will happen. And if the action is not taken immediately, there is a sad sense of letdown.

In spite of my general pessimism toward people, my inclination likewise is to accept them at face value. Call it what you will – naivety, gullibility, stupidity – but it comes from the desire to be treated in kind. Who I am on the surface is a manifestation through and through, without apology, of who I am at the core. My expectation is the same of others, maybe hopelessly at times, because without it there cannot be an honest connection. Fortunately, the principle has served well over the years in the development of even the remotest of relationships.

Even so, the most sanguine person still can find reason to re-examine the faults and regrets that can cast their shadow. At times, I tire of thinking about my own – things I should have done, could have done, might have done; people I should have been with, could have been with, might have been with. For the exception of a few instances, it is not a lament of the decisions that made it otherwise. Rather, makes me wonder if I followed the correct path at all, or wandered from it. One does have to consider “if not that then this, if this then not that.” As much a haunting reminder it may be of the uncertain future, the past is indeed the past.

For the life of a dog, there is no such bothersome lasting concern. They frolic from one activity to the next, never conceding to significant reflection on any matters other than the immediate need and/or want. If only our human lives were as uncomplicated, recognizing the importance of turning three times before committing to a comfortable spot. Perhaps only momentary bliss, it is an earnest surprise to find such a state of contentment.

©2012 Steve Sagarra

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Veracity of a Raindrop

For some reason, adult hangovers are far worse than those of youth. Perhaps an evolved trigger screaming at us to grow up, a remembrance for next time that we are not as young as we used to be. As I have grown older, my adolescent behavior has not ceased; it has matured. There is still stupidity, still regrets. Yet, I am mature about these setbacks, taking a moment to learn from, and lessen, them rather than continue a path of angst that more often led to more stupidity and more regret.

I find it amazing, if not perplexing, the things one remembers, and equally, what one forgets over a lifetime. The images that flash in my mind from my life are difficult to convey, particularly of childhood. A major reason is that certain events have simply faded with the passage of time, notwithstanding that some events seem wholly separate from the present. There is a real feeling that I have lived more than once within a single existence, each stage of my life seemingly far-removed from the others.

My pre-teen years were, for the most part, typical, with all the peculiarities and traumas that go with growing up. Pre-school showed all I needed to form an opinion about most others – grotesque little monsters running around uncontrollably, wiping runny noses on their sleeves and coughing all over me. It was intolerable, and I hated being there. So much so, I often voiced my opinion to my parents and teachers alike on the matter. It had little effect, and I still had to cohabitate with the obnoxious brats for the few hours during the day.

Elementary school, for lack of a better description, was a mix of both the good and the bad. To put it bluntly, though, I hated it just as much. For varied reasons, most friendships that developed ended by the time I reached high school. A main reason was the closing of my first elementary school, which saw me separated from most of those friendships. While some had gradually eroded transitioning to a new school and others had moved away with no further contact, a few increasingly had hinted at an eventual rift made easier by the change.

My closest existent friendships are those rooted in the seventh grade, spanning three decades and counting. That fact amazes people. In an age where the friend request of a stranger is as easy as a mouse click, there is little wonder as to their surprise. It speaks to the bond that was created, one that continues to ripen even with the increase in distance and time – social networking having only made it easier to strengthen. That is not to say that other equal friendships have not come along since, or that these too will not eventually fade.

The epiphany that continually highlights a measure of my development are those times when I sound like my dad. It sparks the realization that he was correct, and that I had heard even if at times I had not listened. Regardless of accepted regrets lingering still, my youth was well spent. To spend one day in my younger shoes would be a fascinating delight, not to change anything but to re-live and appreciate the moment. I am glad the moments of my youth, strung together, have led me to the maturity from which I can now reflect.

Even if I have yet to grow up. 

©2012 Steve Sagarra