Monday, July 15, 2013

"We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast."

Everyone needs a little extra inspiration on Monday.

Nothing inspires you to live life more fully than nearly dying.  That's what they say anyway.  I have, allegedly, had numerous near death experiences, but since they've all been tied to the axiom "If you aren't living on the edge you're taking up too much space" I didn't really get anything out of them - except a bit of thrill maybe.  I mean, as my Dad said, "WHO RIDES A BICYCLE 53 MILES PER HOUR?"

Dude, chill.  And rest easy - I don't live near hills that let me get higher than 40 anymore.

My point is, unless you don't feel the illusion of control, the closeness of death is lost and there is no inspiration - life may be more exciting, but you are left looking for more, not suddenly realizing how much is actually right there.  I know what I'm talking about.  Saturday I was nearly killed.

It started off as a nice enough day.  We piled into the boat with Pizza Pizza for lunch and coolers full of drinks to stave off dehydration.  The sun was brilliant, the air and water warm.  It was such a nice
day we even brought the dog.  Not the brown one that brought us bad luck last year or the black one that would have spent the entire trip terrified.  Nope, we brought the border collie.  WIth a cute life jacket.

This was the stereo-typical perfect boat ride.  We stopped and drifted in the big river, swam off the back, and laughed as the cute little dog jumped off to swim in a big herding circle around the kids.  I even helped him scramble back onto the swim platform.  Ditto the second time.  It was precious.  My wife wanted to take a picture.  We spent five minutes (we being the entire family) trying to coax the little dog back into the water.  He was having nothing of it - not being able to touch was, apparently, a little freak-eh.

"Why don't you get in, Dear."  My wife.  Brilliant.  I hate swimming.  It isn't my bag.  "Okay," said I.  It was about 14 feet where we were so it was warm enough.  I suited up with extra buoyancy and jumped in.  Swam around a bit.  Added my voice to the cries of, "Come on, boy."  He was having nothing of it.  She tossed him in.  Sink or swim baby, yeah.

The dog immediately came to me so I could save him.  Thing is, he didn't stop and sit so I could pet him.  Something about having to keep swimming or he'd drown.  In terror, he climbed onto my head, the only dry land in sight.  The vest I was wearing couldn't handle the extra 40 pounds and under I went.  See, thing is, I don't do drowning.  "GET HIM [gurgle, splutter] OFF ME."  The problem was that nobody could.  Now, if they had tried it would have been easy, but apparently this was high comedy and there was little to no incentive to end it.

Little dog, rumored to be man's best friend no less, drowns man while trying not to drown as family looks on, having aneurisms because they are laughing so hard.  Ha ha ha.  Great logline.  Finally #2 pulled him off at which point he tried to drown her.  I was able to, at that point, get behind him and then guide him to the boat where he was hauled aboard and whined for the next several minutes until everyone else was out of the water.

Later we anchored at the beach and he was nervous about heading to shore but once he understood about swimming out and back, and found where he could touch, he became a water dog.  The next forty minutes had him running up and down the length of the beach, at the waterline, tongue hanging out, alive and inspired.  There was no stopping him.

As for me, I'm still here.  Last week was one of the most intense I can recall at work, but it doesn't really matter.  This is a different week and my life is going on - with or without me.  In the middle of that professional maelstrom, there were some amazing things going on.  Beaten down is no way to live.  Pressing on is the only way to the mark.


  1. I think you know who would have single handedly rescued you and the dog. Stay dry until this reinforcement arrives! C. p.s. You come by this swimming aversion thing naturally.

  2. Guess what...I am laughing that hard again, so is Ali! ;)

  3. Ohhh...I was reading this out loud to the family. I was laughing so hard I couldn't...=) The mental image...awesome!