Rendered Fat Content

September 2017

Me, Myself, and Aye


"Nobody becomes invisible
just because they close their eyes."

A pivotal point in my learning how to write came when I stumbled across an arcane little volume at The Library of Congress. In it, the author(s) proposed what I'll characterize as an 'is-less' style of exposition. Since we construct language from metaphors, which must necessarily be fuzzy representations, characterizing anything as being something else makes little sense. Of course the sky isn't blue, it just looks that way. The author(s) counseled a touch more care when characterizing.

This observation whacked me up the side of my head.

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"The jarring season leaves me carrying more responsibility
than I feel completely comfortable assuming."

Autumn brings jarring work. "Canning" doesn't adequately describe the experience of skinning and seeding a bushel of green chiles or blanching, peeling, and stuffing a hundred pounds of tomatoes into jars. The long, almost meditative hours spent in fine motor repetition with a razor sharp knife leaves the lower back barking for relief. The steamed up kitchen windows while the pressure cooker weight endlessly jiggles, jars the sleepy countenance of an early Autumn afternoon.

The procedures seem timeless and hardly need remembering anymore.

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A Real S. O. B.

Man standing X Ray-602x376

"It's one thing to exhibit good judgement
but quite another to possess it."

While delivering a series of workshops at one of our National Laboratories, The Muse and I heard from almost everyone we met about what a "Real SOB" their liaison to the Department of Energy was. According to the testimony, this guy seemed to be personally responsible for most of the trouble their projects experienced. A short time later, we found ourselves in Washington DC, and we scheduled some face time with this guy. When we arrived at the appointed hour, he greeted us but asked, "I'm not certain why you requested this meeting." I replied that never having met a Real SOB, we thought we'd take the opportunity to meet one. He laughed. Our scheduled fifteen minute meet-and-greet turned into a two hour conversation.

The Real SOB is generally in the eye of the beholder …

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"Teach a man to cook and his inheritance will be tiny."

Autumn sits like a bushel basket over the Foothills this morning, filtering light into a thick sauce which moves languidly among the trees suddenly streaked with the first golden leaves. Thirty nine degrees this morning, snow just a little further up into the hills. My head feels as thick as the sunlight sauce, unwilling or perhaps just suddenly unable to think, straight or otherwise. My mother, who was famous around the assisted living facility for her toys, kept a solar powered critter on her windowsill which would dance around when the sun angled in just right. That critter would be staring numbly out the window this morning.

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"Forward's the only direction on offer here."

At about 2PM MDT yesterday, pretty much the exact moment of Vernal Equinox, a cold front moved across, dropping temperatures, spawning gusty wind, and dulling whatever sun still remained. I closed all those windows which had been open around the clock for the last few months and even thought about turning on the furnace. Later, the house began to take on that moist chill and gloomy character I’d gratefully forgotten about through the sun-drenched months. This morning, the first full day of Fall, clouds hang low and the ground seems saturated. A full herd of Elk, bugling their presence in the pre-dawn mirk, invaded the green space across the street. The season felt fully involved rather than freshly fledged.

Fall’s arrival feels like a failure to me.

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