Thursday, August 02, 2007

Another lesson on taking life for granted...

And believe it or not, I'm not talking about that bridge in Minneapolis. Man, I hate when stuff like that happens though. Watch in horror, allow yourself to be temporarily overwhelmed by the randomness of life, the idea that you could make all these plans for your future - happy ones involving kids and grandkids and going back to school and owning a farm - and then an airplane engine could fall on your head in the middle of said plans. Shake it off, move on...

No, I'm talking about my fear of debate. I've never liked to debate or to watch debates...I know the concept is a free exchange of ideas, but it just seems like controlled fighting to me, and I saw enough fighting growing up to be completely turned off by it. Plus a debate was never a debate in our house; it was Dad's opinion, period. You had to be a learned, educated adult with solid facts and zero emotion behind your argument to get any kind of respect or attention from Dad, so regardless of the strength of my convictions, I just stopped bothering to engage him in discussions as I grew older, especially ones involving politics after I jumped to the other side. This was a guy who watched Fox News and enjoyed the gospel according to Bill O'Reilly, so I knew better than to talk with him about the tough, it wasn't that I knew better, it was that I just didn't want to put forth the effort, because it was exhausting trying to talk with him about things when you knew your opinion stood a good chance of being beaten into the ground. That may sound unfair, but that's how it felt.

So I'm in the shower yesterday with random stuff ping-ponging around in my head (talk about random! the reason I started thinking politics in the first place was a scene from M*A*S*H* where Hawkeye and BJ are trying to get a rise out of Charles by telling him that his parents voted for FDR......4 times! I swear I shouldn't be allowed to operate heavy machinery......) and it dawned on me that now that Dad's gone, I'd love nothing more than to spend an afternoon with him, debating the merits of say, the campaign promises of Fred Dalton Thompson vs. Dennis Kucinich. And the ache hit and I allowed myself a cry. And another lesson was learned, about the preciousness of time and the value of communication, ANY communication, that involves people sharing ideas, opinions, things that open one person to another. We're such a lucky species, to be able to use our brains like that. And yet these are lessons that you can't learn for yourself, until you can see the Thestrals.

Dig the Harry Potter reference? I'm entrenched in Book 7 so all knitting's taking a backseat, because holy crap, what a ride so far! I'm a little more than halfway through and so impressed with how action-packed and well-written it is.

No comments: