Friday, August 06, 2004

August 6, 1982. Happy 22nd birthday to me.

I might work today (tomorrow, whatever - I have this problem all the time, since I wind up writing a lot of journal/blog entries after midnight), but then again I might not, I still haven't decided yet. They're already expecting me to take Saturday and Sunday off, so why not add Friday? I'm not the type to just not show up at all with no warning, but on the other hand I don't care too much about sucking up to my supervisors at a temp job at a junk mail factory. Well, I'll decide in the morning. As for the rest of the weekend, Saturday I'm (probably) going up to Burlington to go shopping with my family and get an mp3 player, and Sunday night Jo's taking me to a bar or club or something she knows. Fun and relaxing and stuff.

It's an amazing thing about Vermont, or maybe just about life in general, how really big things can be hidden in small places. Like a lake in a pocket. A couple days ago traffic in Middlebury was completely blocked off due to construction, so I took an alternate route to work that my dad suggested when I called him. (Of course, if we had a brain between us I just would have avoided downtown Middlebury by going out around Greg's Meat Market, a detour of 5 minutes rather than 20, but hey.) He suggested I take Route 30, then get on Route 4 and come into Rutland the back way. So there's Route 7 on one side and Route 22A (the way down to Fair Haven, where I was a sub) on the other, and Route 4 as the bottom of the triangle more or less. So there's a slice of land about 30 miles north-south and five or at most ten miles at the widest east-west point, and I know the roads surrounding that area by heart - so how the hell was there an entire lake, a geographic region all its own, hidden in there that I had never seen???

Sure, I've heard the name Lake Bomoseen before. And in my almost 22 years living in this state, I've probably been there sometime but just can't remember it now, or didn't know that was it at the time. But still, when I got onto Route 30 I was expecting backwoods, or more of the same farmland and/or small towns that make up both 7 and 22A. I was amazed to find myself driving past a pretty lake, several campgrounds and stuff, a bunch of houses right up against the lake...

Size is never, ever impressive, really - detail is. An elephant is no more a miracle of biology than a shrew, but a shrew is a hundred times more a miracle than a slime mold. Because both the elephant and the shrew have a hundred times more complexity and detail and organization and layers than a slime mold. "The devil is in the details," so to speak. A fractal design may take up little space, but its surface area is infinite. Or, to tie those vague philosophical musings back into part of why I love Vermont so much, there's a quote in a book by Frank Bryan and Bill Mares: "If Vermont were flattened out, it would be bigger than Texas."

1 comment:

A. Azuri said...

Happy birthday, Cy!

Going for the mp3 player, huh? Hopefully you'll be able to find one up there - I got my Yepp at FYE, but I was never able to find any others there at later dates. Guess my timing was good... in both cases. I bet Circuit City has them.

Heh... there's a lot of Vermont unexplored, at least in our experiences - I haven't even touched the Northeast Kingdom, except if you consider Craftsbury part of it.

Yeah... you and I are both detail-oriented, and we enjoy finding them. I think that's why I like traveling so much - every time you go somewhere, you're picking up details about your route, your destination... and the more you do it, the more interesting things you can find!
But of course, you have to watch out for deer, too.