The Pleasures of Pondering
I have long been a fan of pondering. In fact I was just sitting for a moment and pondering what to write in this essay. The idea for the essay itself was a result of some pondering about what to write about next when I had some free time. Pondering is a solitary act and requires some measure of time to contemplate ponderous matters to their fullest degree. If not a solitary act it becomes not pondering but pontificating. While I am prone to pontificate about all the matters I have been pondering, especially after a few glasses of a subtle yet bold Pinot Noir, the act of pondering is far preferable.
I have always been a ponderer. When I was a young lad but in my teens my less than desirable behavior frequently found me placed under that restrictive code known as grounded. I was a bit less than a well behaved young man and in truth one could say that I was more than a tad thuggish, larcenous and pugilistic in nature. I was therefore in a state of groundation with some frequency On such occasions I would grab a book, my perfectly stashed pack of Marlboro Reds and climb the tree in our front yard. There, hidden by the foliage, I would puff away, and read and ponder. I am pretty sure that every Alistair MacLean novel was read in the tree as well as much John D. McDonald and the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as more formulative stuff like Hunter Thompson and Jack Kerouac. Often however I just sat in my little smoky outpost high above the streets of Eastport and merely pondered.
I pondered the sorts of things teenage boys have pondered since time immemorial,mostly about female girls anatomy, the way my anatomy might intermingle with theirs and which engaging attractive young ladies might be candidates for anatomical mingling. I also pondered things like the Orioles run at the pennant, the prospects for a Baltimore Colts team that had won just two games the year before, how the worlds most powerful democracy had gotten its ass handed to it by a bunch of guys in pajamas and why Bobby Fischer was punking out on the chess championship. Mostly however it was boobs.
I am still big on pondering today. I sit out on my lanai with coffee if it is before dinner and wine after to ponder many things. Not too long ago I would have been smoking my cigarettes but now it is my EVOD vaping device (Don’t judge me bitches. I haven’t had a real cigarette since January 6) There are many things about the world we live in and they must be pondered . So I do.
I ponder religion. Does anyone anywhere, no matter how uneducated or quasi ignorant really believe that their kind loving god wants them to kill those who do not believe as they do? Do people really think God speaks to them personally about the danger of queers, fornicators and drunkards? If this new Pope, who seems like a really nice fella, really wants to solve the poverty issues around the world why doesn’t he just sell all the land, building and art the Vatican owns and help the poor? In fact why don’t all churches do that? We are talking about trillions of dollars here. Jesus didn’t have a mega-church with two gyms and a theater in the round. He fed and healed the poor as I seem to recall reading. Why are so many religions against everything and anything that might be remotely pleasurable? Why do so many churches take up massive collections for the poor and hungry in faraway lands and call the police on the homeless people in the park across the street?
I ponder baseball. What the hell is wrong with the Orioles pitching out of the gate and why in the hell is Manny Machado hitting below the Mendoza line? Why is Seattle doing so poorly? That’s a great collection of ballplayers that are having a hard time winning games so far. Is it really Mike Redmond’s fault the Marlins players are playing half ass baseball? How do people in Philadelphia put up with such a wretched team? Who forgot to tell the Mets they weren’t that good this year? How good is Kris Bryant going to be? How great will Mike Trout become before it is all said and done? How come neither of them play for Baltimore? Mantle or Mays? Gibson or Koufax? Brooks or Schmidt? Sherzer or Kershaw? Miggy or Stanton? One of the great things about baseball it that if provides a great deal of things to ponder while immersed in a great vaporous cloud, sipping wine and checking box scores for the evening.
I ponder politics. Why do we profess to hate politicians but consistently re-elect incumbents? Are the Dems really going to nominate Hillary just because it is her turn? Is the GOP really going to let the far right religious sector of the party dominate the primary and nominate an unelectable candidate? Will they let Gary Johnson in the debates this time? Is this candidate pool really the best we have available? Why does a nation that was founded because of objection to unfair taxes now act like the frog in slowly heated water when it comes to new taxes? Does anyone else care that when you add up all the legislative bodies at all levels, there are thousands of groups of people making new rules and regulations every day and then slowly creeping up the amount they steal from you to pay for the things they are doing to save the children? Do we really need that many rules? Given the vast resources we have available to us, to say nothing about our buying power, don’t we just tell the rest of the world to go fornicate itself in physically difficult configurations, bring all out troops back, cut all foreign aid and insist that all trade with other nations takes place on equal terms or not at all?
I ponder people often as well. People are a great source of pondering material. Why is it that so many take more pleasure from another’s failure than their own success? Why are people so shitty to folks like waiters and waitresses, cashiers, clerks, bartenders and demand from them a level of perfection they could never attain at their own profession? In a world where morality is hazy at best, destructive at worst, is anyone absolutely convinced that their brand of morality is the one that should be adopted by all? Why do old guys wear Bermuda shorts and Birkenstocks with socks? Who do so many people stay in situations where they are miserable? Why do so many people think they are the one person on the planet who can drive, text, put on makeup and check their stock prices at the same time with risking life and limb of those in cars around them? What genius thought that putting Wi-Fi in a car was a good idea? Why would anyone hate someone else for not looking, thinking, acting and believing as they do? Why do so many people care about someone else’s sex life? In fact unless it somehow harms you in a material way why does anyone half a shit what anyone else is doing period?
I ponder random stuff as well. What was wrong with old math? What are the odds there are not other planets with intelligent ( assuming that the other life forms would agree we are in fact intelligent which is another great thing to ponder) life? Who exactly first looked at an oyster and said “ya know I bet that tastes good”? Why are those kids on my fucking lawn? Given the amount of untouched food we throw away in the developed world why hasn’t someone yet come up with a way to limit hunger? Why does anyone believe a single thing said by the Chinese Government? Why are there sequels to bad movies?
The number of subjects for pondering are endless. It is not worrying. The only things on this planet I am afraid of are the two things that can destroy a man and take away everything he holds dear, Alzheimer’s and the Internal Revenues Service, and I have trained my brain to ignore those subjects to the greatest degree possible. Pondering is careful quite thinking and wondering about the world we live in, reveling in the good, laughing at the ridiculous and quietly thinking about possibilities. And finding a way to keep those kids off my fucking lawn
Now, I am off to pour some wine and go vape and ponder a spell.