Saturday, April 17, 2010

On lateness

Wonder if the great French essayist Montaigne ever wrote about the subject of punctuality. The older I get, the later I get. I luxuriate over spending time on important projects, whether it's reading the NY Times, watching a video, working with a client, writing a letter or an article.

When I went for kidney lab tests yesterday to Quest Diagnostics I was only 7 minutes late and ended up waiting nearly two hours for my appointment. The waiting room was packed. Fortunately the nurse put on the Julia Child movie, so I sat and watched it again, Meryl Streep was fantastic, and I began writing my latest Guest Column for the Intelligencer.

I wrote it on the back of a lovely pink pad my printer gave me.

Penzias and Wilson found direct evidence for the big bang in 1978. I'm watching a NOVA repeat as I blog.

So it was not unusual I was 10 minutes late for this morning's Creek CleanUp at Pennypack. My group was waiting for me.

"Here comes our fearless leader," said Ada.

"Yes, your fearless late leader," I said walking quickly.

Lauren assigned us to a team. We were out pounding the meadows and the creek for nearly two hours filling our black trash bags with six inches worth of crud. But, oh, the fun time we all had, talking and laffing and getting to know one another better.

A small group of us stood under a tree.

The Hubble has taken the stars into every modern home.

An enigmatic force called dark energy. An energy that seems to be created out of nothing, from the vacuum. Its discovery comes as a complete surprise.

A tremendously loud bird call chirruped above us.

"A pileated woodpecker," cried Richard, looking up and pointing. We saw the huge bird on a branch and watched him fly over our heads and away from us.

"He's thanking us for being out here," I said. We all waved, immensely honored by his presence.

So instead of slowing down, the universe is actually speeding up.

70 percent covered with water. Imagine if we didn't know what water was. 70 percent is dark matter. We don't know what it is.

Food was awaiting us when we returned our full black trash bags of crud. I had a tuna hoagie which I still smell from, plus a sugar cookie, all from Whole Foods. I'd brought my Vatican Bag along with me in which I took out my Canon and photographed the 10 or so of us. Glimpsing my pill case inside the overnite bag, I decided to show a few folks all the colorful pills I take.

I opened the top little door of the orange pill case, and flashed my pills.

The group oohed and ahhed. "These are what I take for my kidneys," I said. One pill in particular is absolutely stunning, like a little jewel. It's a green gelatinous pill I could easily wear as an emerald earring, except it would melt all over my neck, and is my Vitamin D pill. I think. Don't quote me. No, wait! It's my calcium pill.

I often ask myself, If I didn't take these, how long would I live? My honest answer is another 15 years. I'm ravenous about taking em. Never miss.

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