In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for;
as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
H. L. Mencken
Watching an infant grow and develop, if one has the time and sees him/her every few days--as opposed to every day--can be interesting. Changes are readily discernible and often surprising.
I am not a scientist, psychologist, or any other kind of -ist, so my observations and conclusions do not follow the scientific method. I see what I see and--occasionally--even think about it.
Watching the child, I have concluded that a human being is designed to move, eat, sleep, and, perhaps, make noises--nothing more, nothing less. (I'll ignore the drooling bit.) An infant moves constantly, when awake, unless bound in a chair, car seat, or stroller or restrained by firm hands, preferably more than two. When hungry, he or she lets the world know and continues wailing until satisfied or at least until something is stuck in its mouth. When tired, he or she nods off and often in the most uncomfortable position. But, since infants are flexible, they bounce back into shape upon waking, no matter how contorted the position. Also, infants are not the least bit interested in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, because someone else takes care of the only levels which interest them.
Unfortunately, humans change with age. Much of the blame falls on society, with 21st century customs being especially culpable. But, this process started eons ago, perhaps even with the first humans.
With age, humans become sedentary, lazy even. I doubt that there were many couch potatoes until recently. When not sleeping or eating, adults tend to remain still.
Sleep is now regulated by custom, not merely by fatigue. Society tends to dictate sleep habits. Babies are urged to take naps; adults are ridiculed or even chastised. Something so natural is treated as being unnatural and unacceptable. I discovered that the basic urge to squirm, present in all infants and merely inhibited in adults, when I thrashed around upon awaking from narcosis. This behavior is not unlike an infant struggling against a diaper change.
Eating is the only infant urge that has not changed or been inhibited. People stuff their faces at all times...which explains the couch potato bit, high incidences of diabetes and heart disease, and lack of physical fitness (along with the movement bit above).
If adults could act like infants, perhaps more would be healthier, happier, and...no, few would be wiser.
Surprisingly, one discovers in an infant not necessarily needs, which reside at the peak of Maslow’s hierarchy, but traits. One does not think of an infant achieving self-actualization, yet each is spontaneous, lacks prejudice, accepts what it discovers, solves “problems” through discovery, and is curious. What happens to this refreshing, unbridled curiosity, the urge to discover everything and anything? How can human interest degrade to the level of being interested only in someone named Kardashian? Infants appear to be better human beings, perhaps because society has yet to gets its grubby hands on them...
For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
The most-revered scientific authority this world has ever known has passed judgement, so it must true...
The Vatican has announced that a recently discovered piece of papyrus, which reveals that some Jewish guy, who allegedly lived 2000 years ago, had a wife, is fake. Of course, they have confirmed that the Shroud of Turin is genuine...so that rag must be. This the same bunch of yahoos that ex-communicated Michelangelo...and have not broadened their horizons or revised their thinking since then. Did I mention that many molest children and are protected from prosecution? Or that only paying members are welcome, just like any blood-sucking cult? Or that they leaders plunder the coffers to enjoy a lavish lifestyle? And. And. And.
NB. I should have known this, but I just realized that the root of papal is pap. That explains a lot...
I must confess to another lie, which anyone having read my blog on the day I wrote the following might recall. I wrote that I liked the Swedish television adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, therefore refused to see US version. Of course, the books were great and no film could do them justice. Time has passed, things happen, one is occasionally bored, and only stupid people do not change their minds. And, how can one know whether or not one’s prejudices are correct?
If one hasn’t read book (although knowledge of the story helps with many bits), this is not a bad film. I do not accept Daniel Craig as James Bond, but must admit he plays Michael Blomquist well (and has been credible in other roles, just not 007). Mara Rooney is okay and better than I expected, but i still prefer Noomi Rapace in the title role. Both films had good production values, but the Swedish version wins overall.
It shows the truth - that the real meaning of a word is only as powerful or harmless as the emotion behind it.
The past has proven that Republicans do not have and cannot do humor. What they can do is write and buy (not sure about read) political hatchet jobs. Each season, these “things”, which I will never buy or read (or write), pollute “bestseller” lists. Authors appear on talk shows to promote their screed, forcing me to switch channels or ignore the programs. I have come to loath the faces, voices, and names of these publishing terrorists.
(Everyone else uses the word freely, so why can’t I?)
I much prefer liberals’ humor and self-deprecation, even if I do not agree with all their agenda.
Now that twenty-four hours have passed, I am able to peck at a keyboard with one finger. This needs more time than real typing, but I have promises to keep and sentences to write before I sleep (with apologies to Robert Frost).
My last memory in the operating room is of the anesthetist telling me to think of something pleasant as she lowered a mask the my face. My next memory is being helped into the car for the ride home. I do not recall waking from the narcosis, lying in the recovery room, being dressed by a nurse and my wife, or being briefed by the surgeon. My memory powers were fading, but anesthesia seems to wipe the slate clean...or not accept any writing.
According to my wife, I fought with nurse to tear off the bandages and sling, muttered senseless babble, and conversed with everyone in the room.
I hope that my ravings were senseless and did not include excerpts from the unfettered, drugged mind of a fiction writer, because most would be disturbing if taken out of a novel’s context or--worse--considered to be real.
I must admit the “intensive care” following the operation at home is more pleasant than I have experienced in a hospital. I did not miss being attached to machines or having a painful infusion needle lodged in my arm. (Read Sister Sisteron or Flying’s Easy for my take on hospital sojourns.)
My wife is an excellent care-giver. I have received better care only from my mother, perhaps because she was a Registered Nurse, or because nostalgia distorts my mind.
Now, I must be patient and wait for Nature to work its magic. And, I must manage to do what I can with one hand. In the end, I will have more respect and sympathy for handicapped people than I already have.
The adjacent to the town where I live, which is larger and the location of my wife’s business (two irrelevant facts), has a private clinic for ambulatory operations. Several anesthetists and nurses are employed, but no surgeons. Any doctor needing to operate can book the facility and have his patient laid out and knocked out. He or she merely needs to show wash his or her hands, wield the knife, and then go have a beer. The victim is left in the hands of the clinic long enough to be able to walk and is then turned over to a relative for transport home and further care.
This less less bureaucratic, simpler, and cheaper than cutting people at the hospital, with its huge and need to fill beds.
The only problem is parking, with the closest a few streets away. This is okay for arrival, but tottering the car half-drugged must surely present an entertaining spectacle.
No health care system is perfect, so one must take inconveniences and aggravations with the good bits.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.