The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts tagged “lessons

Hundred-Mile Wilderness

Posted on July 19, 2013

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   A ten-hour road trip north of home and I find myself in the Hundred-Mile Wilderness, a notorious section of the even more notorious Appalachian Trail. This is my brother’s trip, though. I’m just along for the ride, offering just my driver’s license and extensive knowledge of the perfect s’more.

   My brother and his friend are avid fishermen. They discuss fish as if there is no other topic to be discussed. They eat their meals quickly and expel from their seats when they deem socially acceptable in order to make it back to the swimming hole before dark. They happily navigate sluggish brown water down to their waists and then happily pluck squirming leeches from their legs. It’s all part of the job.

   It turns out that all people, from 0 to 150 years old, can teach us something. My brother, eight years my junior, has already grasped something it took me much longer to learn: there is more joy in the routine, the effort and the attempt than there is in the catch.

   While they fish, I sit in a kayak with my camera and wait to catch the sunlight.

The Unbelievable Lightness of Being

Posted on March 6, 2013

The sticky air of a South Asian country during monsoon season is thick like batter. I would sit on the balcony rail outside my room, let my legs dangle in the batter, and feel the sweet breeze of an oncoming storm. Then the roof and wire monkeys would flee, and, on cue, the clouds would roll in assertively, as if with exaggerated self-opinion. In August, the lush and sprawling Kathmandu valley saw rain everyday. Never a light drizzle or a modest shower. No, it was the season of street waterfalls. Violent in looks, soothing in symphonies, I would find a seat on broken steps and look on as the floods boldly evaluated gutter capacity. I’d watch smoky brown street rivers rush hurriedly toward me…

Matysowka

Posted on August 31, 2012

As tiny children, my cousins and I would play jump rope in their empty schoolyard. It was always great fun, mostly because we played helicopter-style, the only style I could ever manage without skinning my knees on rough asphalt. Little did we know, the metal gate we walked by everyday as children would be destroyed by their friends one night far into the future. The gate would be smashed by a Skoda after their one friend consumed too many beers. Little did we jump-roping children could know, the driver would walk away fine, but the gate that I saw everyday would be severely dented. Confused neighbors and passers-by would see the gate and wonder: “When did this happen?” It would be a fleeting thought as…