MY YEAR OF LIVING CONFEDERATELY: WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT WATER
It's been almost eight months that I've lived in this antebellum (1847) that sits on 600+ acres. Below is a picture of the antebellum tucked away in its grove of trees from the vantage point of a family of hay bales where I go to think. I typically leave a beer at the hay bales to determine if any trespassers are, well, trespassing on the property. To this day the only wino who has opened that beer is me.
While we have breathtaking views all around, we also experience difficulties of the most fundamental sort that we find to be both perplexing and discouraging. And, also, disturbing, taking into account that I've professionally taught children the laws of nature for the last sixteen years.
For example, I direct you to the embarrassing situation below:
For someone who learned to swim at age eighteen, I certainly think I know a lot about water. In an overgrown tangle of trees on the property is an abandoned house as my kids like to call it. Oops, I didn't realize that I didn't take a picture of the house. To prove there is a house, here are armadillo remains near it.
One afternoon I thought I would visit the abandoned house. Instead of walking, I thought I might drive the car down to see it. Yes, I said "down." The object of my attraction lay near a culvert. That's why this happened.
Of course, a culvert is designed to catch water. Culverts would not catch water if, like me, they didn't understand the nature of water. Here are two things I did not take into consideration that got me in a considerable bind:1) It rained all day the day before and 2) culverts can only collect water if they are "lower" than the water they intend to catch. Yes, I drove right into a flood plain that was flooded. I realized my mistake three seconds before it was too late for me to back out. As I started to sink, I began to laugh at myself for being so naive.
I wouldn't have laughed had I not known that my car would remain there for three days. If you look at my back tire below, you will see that it has sunk almost a third of the tire. That's because I spent three moronic days trying to "rev" it out of the flood plain which was foolish because revving it lost me solid dirt and, being at the lowest point in the flood plain, that dirt was rapidly replaced with water which everyone knows is impossible to ride on. Oh, but, no, I know something that no one knows, right?
That's my friend, Ed, behind me with his Ford 250. I asked him to come help me. Ed told me later that he had a hunch he would sink, but he hadn't seen me in a while, so why not come by? Ed sunk. And he laughed.
Some guy driving past thought he wanted some of the action when he saw Ed and me stuck.
He proposed that he pull us both out with his suburban, but Ed told him to focus on his Ford 250. Well, suburban guy, kind as he was, almost got stuck. He called up his friend with a tow truck. I recognized these guys, because they towed my brown Volvo sedan three years ago. They pulled Ed out, but had to go get more chain to pull me out.
Ed left. I figured I would keep busy while I waited. So I got myself some garbage bags and policed my property perpendicular to the culvert. I must have picked up well over 100 bottles. It's like people driving buy know to toss their bottles into the culvert... or the bottles know to be tossed into the culvert like Tolkein's ring trying to get back to its master.
I'd like to say that I learned my Physics lesson that water lusts for the lowest point possible and, being a liquid, is malleable enough to conform to the size of any space. And then it sunk into my head that the classic illustrations will always be the organic ones. Like water, I am driven to a certain... bottom line, shall we say. Like water all of those actions, no matter how differentiated they appear to be, are all expressions of that bottom line. That bottom line, whether or not I acknowledge it, speaks to the sum total of all that I do from waking to sleeping, working to resting, thinking to daydreaming. So what is that bottom line for me? What is that bottom line for you? Good question.
Below is a picture of me after the adventure. And I don't look in the mood to have six children ask me what's wrong. I calculated how much time ignorance cost me, and it was shy of almost 75 hours. And by that time you know what I wanted? A beer. But this wino had already drunk the last one.