Team Wet Dog

Team Wet Dog

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window view

This has been the view from my window for the last two days. Washington, for those of you who don't live here, has been covered by grey-ness and pounded on by rain. We got more than seven inches in eighteen hours the other night, prompting a few metro stations to flood and shut down, roads to close and apparently a mudslide to cut off a portion of the Beltway.

In short, it's been nasty. And the rain continued last night. Someone told me the Potomac River is not expected to crest until Thursday, and there are floodgates installed around the restaurant area of the waterfront.

Hopefully, this will end soon.

As for the picture above, it's the result of wandering around the apartment while I waited for the coffee to be ready. But even though it was intended to just stand in and symbolize "rain," I really like it. I think it has to do with the tones and the bubbles and the water droplets -- it almost looks like the water is moving by instead of standing still, stuck to the window.

On another thought, when I was about twelve years-old I read War & Peace. Well, I "read" it, in that I read each word on each page and then said that I read it.

Today, I don't remember a word of that book. Just like I don't recall many other fairly hefty and complicated books I tried to read too early. I'm now re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but I may as well be reading it for the first time. Not only are the words completely foreign to me, but my reaction now compared to then, when I first tried to read it, is completely different.


Sometimes I think we read books too early. The "reading lists" of middle school and high school seem wasted, sometimes, or are too ambitious.

Then again, sometimes I think you just get different things out of a book at different times. You bring more to the reading the later you read it. But that doesn't necessarily make a subsequent reading "better" or "more complete" or whatever, when compared to the earlier ones.

I guess it's probably a matter of degrees. To some extent. I won't say, by any stretch, that it's a waste to read a certain book at a certain time. I will say, easily, that the weeks I spent plowing through War & Peace for a middle school report were pretty much a waste for me. Even then, I knew I wasn't understanding it all.

But who knows. Some books I've read more than a dozen times, and each time I read them I understand more - or at least understand differently. I do wish we didn't forget so much - what does it mean to have "read" a book, if you forget everything afterwards?




All Images Copyright 2006 -- Robert Walton