Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Dog and His Boy

It hadn't been a blistering hot day. And it amazes me how accumulated we can become to our weather. Nonetheless, the day cooled off nicely as it passed into night. And if was a brilliant opportunity for a quiet evening on the patio, a glass of wine, iTunes set on the genius button and the companionship and conversation with my close friend Cooper the Dog. We'd decided to scan the heavens for signs of the Perseid meteor shower.

As we looked skyward...well actually it was only I that looked for the traces of light...I reminded Cooper that the showers were not to begin in earnest until today, during the day. But, we thought we'd give a go anyway.

Bored with the wait, I turned on tiny lights to the patio umbrella and squinted my eyes at them, and waited. Nothing. I twirled the umbrella and squinted again. I smiled at the result and uncorked a bottle of red wine. Cooper merely lifted his head and gave the cork a precursory sniff.

"You know Coop," I said scanning the skies. "Have you ever considered if we carry memory of things like the meteor shower in some distance memory? Sort of like, oh I don't know, embedded in our DNA? I mean, after all, what's the big deal? We all flock to remote areas of the countryside escaping the light pollution of our cities and communities to look at streaking lights. Why?"

Cooper lifted his head again and looked at me. "Well Rick it's actually more than streaking lights. What we're seeing is bits of debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle colliding with our atmosphere. The same meteor shower that's been observed for more than 2,000 years."

At that particular moment the iTunes genius selection "Carry on my Wayward Son" punctuated our conversation.

"Really! Really!" I shouted at my furry friend. "I ponder metaphysics and you bring me science. I mean...for God's sake you're a dog! You eat cat poop and drink out of mud puddles. And besides, you got that from the internet. Didn't you?"

"Oh, come on." Cooper shot back. "For Buddha's sake, your choice in wine is pedestrian at best and if you'd throw me a few table scraps I wouldn't have to resort to such desperate measures. Besides, the cat eats far better than I."

"I'm sorry Coop, I was looking for a more meaningful conversation. I mean, when you look at the sky don't you ever see the face of God? Or, at least wish you did?" I pleaded.

"I do not see the face of god." Cooper replied as he licked the wine cork. "But, maybe I look for the face of Sirius, or buddha or perhaps something even more ancient. You want a conversation in metaphysics yet you are still bound by your narrow Judea-Christian convictions. You speak of "older" memories yet you are still unwilling to explore the principals of reality transcending those of the particular known science of the sky upon which you now gaze."

Louis Armstrong is signing "A Kiss to Build a Dream On."

"You looked that up on the internet. Hey Coop?"

"Yes Richard."

"Hand me a piece of cat poop, would ya?"

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