Friday Flotsam: Abbreviated Vacation Version

1. I’m in Maine right now visiting the kids, and I mean that in both sense of the word. I’m both visiting my niece and nephew, and one of my sister’s goats just recently gave birth, resulting in frolicky, happy twins who are indescribably cute.

2. Most people like animals, which is to say they like the thought of animals. There’s a difference between sentimental ideas of ‘fur babies’ and such and the concrete smells, touch, and habits of the real thing: of hot crates of squirming chicks and ducklings slipping in their own poops, of chickens skulking about a yard pecking in the grass, of snorting pigs nosing about for edibles, of tumors, limps, inexplicably disinterested mothers, and all the rest. Today’s cute and adorable baby critter is tomorrow’s freezer stock, and that’s just the way it works.

People who live close to livestock understand the reality of animal life, and the stark gulf between humans and beasts, much better than those of us who spend out time in the comfortable suburbs can, and it’s good to get a reminder of that from time to time if we can do no better.

3. Yesterday was the Feast of the Ascension, of course. When I think of the Ascension, the image that actually comes to mind is the pathway of the sun in the myth of Phaeton: he’s warned to follow the worn cart-track across the sky, but late in the game he looks up from trying to control the wild flaming horses to realizes he can’t see it at all. It’s that image of a definite, yet ethereal pathway marked off in the sky. So it is, I imagine, with Christ treading the path outward from earth to our heavenly home.

4. Gonna have to cut this one short; I’m very tired and have other things that need doing before I sleep. Such is life on the road with little kids around (the human kind).

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