The rain it raineth every day in northwest Oregon this time of year. And when it’s not raining, there is no sun. All is gray and ominous, dim enough that you need the lights on in the house to make a cup of tea or read a book or navigate the hallway. Out of doors lichen sheathes the branches and beards the rocks. Moss conquers sidewalks, the lawn, the front steps, chimneys, and rooftops. In the little seam that runs around my car’s windows moss grows too.
If I’m not posting often these days that’s because my boss has left the company and now I’m doing more work than I care to. I have made it clear to my boss’s boss, however, that I am not angling for a promotion. God help me, no. I enjoy my work and am grateful for my job, but I have no ambitions in that direction. Or, really, in any direction – though I do sometimes think I’d like to learn how to bake bread.
If I could do it all over again – education and career, I mean – I would skip the bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy. My professors believed in Western civilization and the canon, for which I’m grateful, but academic instruction in the humanities can’t take you anywhere worth going that reading on your own can’t also take you. The future of the traditional humanities must belong to the amateurs, or to no one at all.
No, I would join the Navy, I think. Then, after a few years, I would go to school to study biology (ornithology or entomology), or perhaps forestry. I’d work, if I could land a job, for the US Forest Service or the National Parks Department. That would be a life. But I don’t really regret anything. Life is what it is, and then you die. The really important stuff is there, all around you, regardless. And good books are for everyone, and not hard to find.
So let it come down.