Why Me? Why Write? Why Now? Why Not?

The Me is Doug Curran…Douglas M Curran…Douglas Metcalf Curran. Douglas is Celtic for “dweller by the dark stream”. Curran in Gaelic means “little spear”. And Metcalf? Scottish for “I met a calf”? Hey I don’t know! I don't have all the answers. I'm still trying to get the questions right. At least I seem to be a spear fisher by some dirty water. Or maybe I'm a Druid. And that Curran thing may not even be as Irish as my Irish American wife, Colleen Fitzsimmons, hoped it was when she married me. Ok, I might be a Viking. It's like this. I was reading this book, The Lion Of Ireland, see, and the author, Morgan Llewellyn, recounts a last battle between Brian Boru and the Viking invader king, to regain Irish dominance again throughout the island and kick the fureners out. The Viking king's name? Olaf Cuaran? Cuaran? Curran? I'm a Viking now, so I am? And a descendent of one of those marauding and murderous pillagers and plunderers? I've never pillaged a thing in my life...well, maybe a book or two from somebody. I'm really just a gentle giant who loves books and music. Ok, I bought a sword recently, but only as a wall decoration to enhance my Irish family history coat of arms! Honest! Viking, Schmiking, so rest my Irish soul! Or my wife will have my old bald Irish head!

June 15, 2009

Fireworks...do they work for me anymore?

Had our first fireworks of the season the other night, during the rain at the end of the annual Orem Summerfest Parade in our hometown. We were actually listening to the big booms from inside the house, debating whether or not to even go out and watch, remembering our deceased Ginger dog who would run and hide under the beds at the first rumble. Seen one, seen them all? I mean what's the point anymore?

I did feel a little guilty about all the hard work these guys were going through to paint the black sky in multi-colored splats. Maybe that's why I left my comfortable family room to venture out into the June drizzle and sneak a little cuddle with my wife while skywatching. That was good. There will be more of these fireworks of course throughout the Summer in our little Utah Valley, what with Strawberry Days, Steel Days, Onion Days, Pioneer Day and more celebrations coming up. The real test for us us will be whether or not we'll attend any July 4th celebrations. It's not that we're unpatiotic. But might as well face the question now. How much allegiance do we owe to fireworks? Do they really work for me anymore?

Ok, is it the ka-booms we are supposed to react to? Or do we continue to look for some starry formation never seen before and at which we can add a new ooooh or ahhhhh? I know I sound cynical and I'm not trying to make fun of someone else's fun. But there we all were, neighbors out in our yards, sharing a joint transfixation on the sky as if ET was coming back, huddled in quiet awe or respect for the power of the powder, maybe just a common assent to it, admitting it's part of our life - but how important a part? Important enough to go outside and indulge the presenters? Would they ever know if we were watching or not? Were they hoping to give us some new memorable thrill that would bind us more together as humans?

Was this what Francis Scott Key had in mind for our future when he wrote about the "rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air"? We were getting pounded by the enemy but our "flag was still there". So we celebrate a good thrashing from those ornery Brits. Or are we giving more homage to some ancient Chinese inventors, another "Made In China" reminder from the land of a billion rice makers? Isn't it just another quick fix, another mindless entertainment we have too much of already, trying to be bigger and better than last year - and yes, there were some new explosions I haven't seen before. Should I be grateful and giddy and feel that all is right with the world? Boy, I really am cynical.

And so I go back into my house after it's over. Will I talk about this at dinner? Will any of this stay with me or should it even be a subject of conversation? Yes, it was pretty for a fleeting few minutes - too fleeting, nothing lasting, even those flaring formations coming and going so fast you can't enjoy one for more than a second till it's gone and another takes its place. Why can't they be frozen up there for a little longer so you can enjoy them, that phenomenal starburst, that amazing fanfare of light and sound, going from one to the other with such speed - and maybe that's supposed to be the intent, to leave me dizzy, reeling, lost in the kaleidoscope, the pounding, the frenzy, till I'm exhausted. Everyone cheers at the end. For me, it's always over too fast - like life. Whoa, Dude, get a grip! We're only talking a few firecrackers here, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment