Thursday, March 21, 2002

Of Fishes and Ponds
There are times when I have thought that I’m just really not that ambitious. I retired from a job where my boss was a woman just a couple of years older than I. We worked great together. I like being a lieutenant instead of the captain. (I think that’s an appropriate analogy; I don’t really know how that military hierarchy goes.) I had a great deal of influence, but no real power. And the buck didn’t stop with me. It was a fine trade-off as far as I was concerned, and I stayed for 20 years in a job that I originally had planned to leave after the fifth.

I also have made conscious choices so that I would set myself up as one of the bigger fish in a variety of little ponds. That way I could have some status without really putting myself in competition with the really big fish in the really big ponds. Life is less stressful that way.

Suddenly, I find myself spilled into this breathtaking tank, this vat without walls, this pond-of-all-ponds. I’m this little fish pretending I know how to swim in water more than two feet deep. I want to go back to my safe shallow pool, where I know the rules and I can touch bottom.

Except my little pond is drying up fast. The future is in that vast, still unknowable space in which the Blogtank itself floats, full of fish still finding each other. I’m swimming as fast as I can, but I don't know if it's fast enough.
When I was young/er, I used to say that I wanted to be either famous or infamous. Either one would do. Anita Bora just interviewed me via email for a feature that the online magazine she works for is doing about older people and blogging. Heh. Maybe I should have been careful what I wished for.
Ok, now you'll really think I'm weird.
Every once in a while (starting about three years ago) I go through a series of incidents where the the numbers 11:11 or series of 1s come up -- sometimes it's the change I get when I buy something. Sometimes it's what my purchases cost. Often I just happen to look at a digital clock or my car's odometer when it happens to say 11:11. It hasn't happened in a while, and now it's happening again. Here's the even weirder part. There are web sites out there that say this is happening to other people. Here's one. I'm beginning to think it's some kind of "Devil's Tower" thing like from Close Encouters of the Third Kind. Being a non-believer in things mystical (I just love the mystical for its poetry and drama) I sure would like to figure out what's going on. Now, I know the theory that maybe I have those numbers stuck in my head and I subconsciously grok when those numbers are likely to appear on clocks and odometers, and so I wind up looking at them at those times. But that wasn't the case the first time the series of "encounters" happened. And then I forget about it all until it starts happening again. Now that's weird. That's really weird. I don't like it. I don't like it because I can't explain it in ways that make sense to me. But there it is. I hope that you'll be my friends, anyway.