Saturday, October 12, 2013


Tempus est, ut videret si vetus canis potest discere novum artes: It is time to see if an old dog can learn new tricks.

Vacation has started and a whirlwind week awaits. I am traveling alone. No friend, no road trip companion; just me and my journal. I'm not sure I'll snap a frame during the trip. I have found that experiencing life through a smartphone lens often leads to a disconnect between what happened and what I think should have happened. Because once I take a picture I feel compelled to post it and check for likes and comments and maybe play a game of Dots and check my email while the experiencing moments slip past.

I'd like to be as wide awake as possible on this trip, especially come dawn Tuesday as I roll into Albuquerque, N.M. and (hopefully) watch the sun rise. The forecast says the skies should be clear. I want my head to match the weather.

Because this trip is partly about discovering whether I can learn new tricks. I'm not even eight in dog years, and I'm no Bordeaux Mastiff, so ... yeah. In theory I have years to go before I'm pulled, screaming, into the Big Sleep. I can still learn how to sit and shake, maybe even attack on command. Vorous! Braver Hund! I already know how to roll over. Perhaps I should throw a shadow on that old habit.

Something else to work on: I should stop being so selfish about what I want. There's something exceptionally unattractive in focusing on serving my own needs. And it never seems to have an upside. Every time I've tried to do something that was only for me, it has backfired. If there's a new trick there for the canine, it should be some variant of Reagan's trust-but-verify stance: make sure the reason for my hella selfishness doesn't come back and bite me in the ass. Or if it does, make sure it's worth the scar.

It's time for me to be open to new tricks. I take pride in keeping current with pop culture and trends. I haven't kept the same currency with my life's trends; not what I want but where I'm going. I've been Caught Up In Madness and there's nothing like a little CUIM to blind me to the future and the shenanigans needed to get there.

I have no idea what those tricks are, or whether my reflexes are still quick enough to master the sleight of hand. But hey, meh, what the hell. I'm always up for a new challenge, especially one that requires setting fire to some old ways and plays. I've got a big pile of matches and three weeks to burn.

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