Oh, Snap

I’ve never seen a race staged between a tortoise and a turtle, but predicting the winner would be a hairy guess.  Turtles, sleek & streamlined, are graceful swimmers, but on land they’re fumbling as any fish, penguin, or walrus out of water.  Stuck midway into an overland crossing, turtles might as well be tortoises – durable as a slow-paced distance runner, yes, but plodding all the same compared to the speed racers.

Snapping turtles are destination oriented, purpose oriented, and you can give them credit for their determination to reach a soft bank in which to deposit their eggs.  Still, they’re oblivious to the dangers of traffic (and how could it be otherwise, since these turtles, mature at four to seven years, are only about twenty generations into the advent of motor vehicles).  The haphazard squish, the accidental flattening, are detrimental to the population, but the survivors of each migration would count among themselves the nocturnal (less traffic), the quick (less time playing chicken across the road), and the merely fortunate.  In another few thousand generations, long past our turn at plodding on this earth, snappers may become primarily nocturnal and/or more fleet on four feet.  Or luckier.  Luck seems a Lamarkian inheritance, specious at best, or the result of intentional nurturing rather than nature, that blood red palimpsest clawed through by every generation of every living thing as they seek their own survival and their progeny’s.  Fortune favors the prepared and any added knack for survival passed along genetically favors the survivor’s offspring, potentially multiplying when two of the next generation find each other darling and, shall we say, combine their talents, laying on a soft bank or in sweet waters.  Maybe luck is heritable.  I hope so, because you’ll note I said ‘or luckier’ not ‘and luckier.’  It might be the supremely otherwise unfit – the diurnal dawdlers – which are the only turtles being rescued on roads, at least by our family.


GW Blog Snapper Two Unhappy Transport

Read more on the Oh, Snap! page tucked under the Critters section of the site.


Hey there folks,  Goat Waters went live last night, May 4th, 2019.

There are some things you should know about this blog if you stumble upon it.  Foremost, it is, and ever will be, a work in progress.  Many of the posts/pages are unfinished.  As I type this, the tale about rabies is unfinished, as is the story about smuggling anoles.  On the flip side, Viking Send-off is complete, unless I re-read it and add/subtract/correct or other modify the pile of words.

I hack at writing GoatWaters.com around family and running a multi-faceted little collection of bamboo-oriented fishing tackle supply firms.  Other than within the section of the site titled Craftsmanship, you’ll find almost no references to my day job excepting  tangential asides, e.g., where I mention a controversy from within the bamboo rod making world as it relates to the bit about amputating a duck’s leg.  In other words, Goat Waters, known in the house and among friends as my ‘other GW’ has not been concocted as the malign device of an archfiend whose sole aim is world domination by luring the unsuspected masses into the craft tradition of making bamboo fishing rods.  The bulk of the writing on this site is focused on family, and mostly, though not entirely, on aspects of education.

The more I write, and the more you read, the more you’ll discover abut yourself within the domain of this spreading ink blot.  If I mention Indra’s Web, you might scamper off to learn: what web is that?  Good.  Then, returning to Goat Waters, you might begin to see vestiges of our web, the dangling traceries you first brushed away as an annoyance while traveling through this ever-expanding labyrinth.  Connections or coincidence?  Serendipity?  Synchronicity?  And what did an old psychologist named Jung have to do with that?  This could become a subject of intrigue, and off you go trotting after a notion hitherto unexplored, all the while noting the presence of the web in the tangle of your own life.

Something else you may notice: flat history.  Maybe some philosopher or psychologist already has a proper term coined for this notion, cognitive asynchrony, or better, memoric pansynchrony.  Because the stories shared inside Goat Waters range over times – the times I wrote them, the times related in them and because new posts build on old posts, new travelogues reference prior travels to ‘identical’ places and contrasting places – there may be some confusion to the reader.  The web of links within and without Goat Waters can – should! – lead to some discomfiture.  As a simple example, I use the present tense back in the fall of 2018 describing something one of my college-bound boys is up to, then I used the present tense again in the spring of 2019, then summer, then fall…but the fall is future now and will be past come winter.  Depending on where you land, what you read, you might think Drake or Angus is doing x or y, when they’re already long past that adventure and on to a’.

Welcome to my world.  Discomfiture as regards the past.  Unease.  Awkwardness.  And all that on account of the perception of history as flat.  I’ve often tried to describe this to my wife as a wall, a canvas of apparently infinite scope, on which all the things that have happened are recorded, but not as a scroll, more as the jotted notes of a madman who scribbles down the details that seem important, but in haphazard places on the canvas.  Whereas my wife, S inside Goat Waters, has an apparently photographic and synchronous memory (a vast annoyance on half of days, but appreciated on others), I have this sprawling mess.  The worst thing she can do, when I’m relating some snippet of my history, is ask, “but if you were sailing in 1987, when were you…?”  She wants what she has, a timeline, a scroll to reel and unreel.  I have only the unreal – better, unstructured – sense of having done, and having read, many things which must have required time in their accomplishment.

Without trying, the structure of an increasingly expansive website recreates this highly fragmented sensation of time as a disorderly passage, of history as something which can only be partially reconstructed by little clues indicating that ‘this’ must have happened before ‘that.’

Simply writing this post makes me wonder a number of things, but foremost: how many types of personal historical representation has psychology enumerated?

More later, or sooner…sometime.