SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2
My preferred method of exercise is swimming, which I try and accomplish 3 - 4 times weekly. Usually, I don't get in the "trance" state that a friend of mine aims for when he is swimming. I am not such a good swimmer, and I am aware of my efforts in the water. Furthermore, I am thinking as I swim. For some reason today as I swam, I remembered an episode from my youth. I was about fourteen years old, and it was a balmy summer evening in my Washington DC neighborhood. There was an empty lot I liked to go to, and this night, I decided to climb a tree. After I climbed way up to the top branches, a dog belonging to a neighbor I knew, Mr. Sedgewick, bounded over and began barking up the tree. He barked relentlessly and soon Mr. Sedgewick came out to see what all the ruckus was about, shining a flashlight up the tree while the dog barked. I was embarassed, so stayed still. This went on for some time . . . until Mr. Sedgwick decided he had had enough, retrieved his dog and marched home. I waited and then timidly climbed back down and crept away. Looking back, the whole situation is humorous.
Why did I remember that passage of my life today? Do I find myself happy on some lonely treetop under the moon, with the wind blowing, but with dogs barking and being examined by a nosy conscience aiming it's flashlight at me? I can be happier without as much self-criticism. Just climb to the treetop and howl with the dogs.