HOME page>                  NEW STUFF page> 
          WRITING CONTENT page>       GUEST ARTISTS page>Home_1.htmlNew_Stuff.htmlEssays.htmlGuest_Artists.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3


August 2015

by Michael O’Brien

It’s a quiet morning here in Aggieland; soon the town will refill with parents and children, students
arriving from around the country and around the world, but today it is quiet. We need a little quiet to help reflect on life from time to time. I wonder about the things I do: are they important things to be doing with life? I wonder about the people I meet every day: can I forget our last interaction with them and start anew? I think about these things and wonder. Some things we know: the sun will come up, the one who holds my heart will love me, my children will too, but do I do enough to return it?

I get academically lost every now and then, wondering if the minute things I pick up and spend days, weeks, months tinkering with are important, if the study will mean something to someone. Of course the first step is to get it written; then get it published; but it’s hard to keep up the effort when there are other responsibilities that are a bit more tangible, maybe a bit more rewarding. I’m doing that with a tiny question now: what happens when architectural ornament leaves its surrounding frame? Where does it begin then? Where does it end? Silly probably, but I wonder. The frame is the rule that had been in place for thousands of years, and then, little by little, the ornament crept over the frame’s edge, and then the frame couldn’t be seen, but was it still there? Underneath, out of sight? What happens when things you have depended on for years erode? Maybe it’s just change---leadership change, space change; our department is facing that now, and it’s unsettling.

Jon Stewart retired from his show yesterday, a change that maybe will give a few people less to worry about, and maybe more of us will have more to do now, trying to figure out truth from spin in the rhetoric of the upcoming election. It’s always uncomfortable to have to read the viewpoints you don’t like, but I think it’s important to read both sides because the truth is probably somewhere between the left and the right. I think the first debate happened yesterday too, but I’m not sure it was a real debate; it was the usual “how do I take this question and turn it to my usual campaign talk” kind of debate; kind of a waste of everyone’s time, I think. It would be refreshing if they just told the truth and let us know it’s just about the money, and the billionaires behind it all are propping up the candidates just to get more money…how much greed does a person need? Just a rant of mine; sorry but it’s frightening to think that less than two dozen rich guys have bought the media, the candidates, and the elected officials just to make sure they can get a few billion more from the rest of us. Very weird and scary.

It’s probably a sign that I’m getting old; idealism is harder to hold on to.

One of those little caption sheets online, a meme?, had a few lines that read something to the effect of “...if you like a flower, you cut it and put it in a vase; if you love it, you water it every day.”

Water it every day: life, the people you meet, the people you love, the work you do, and yourself.

Be good to each other.