Monday, August 15, 2011

Road To Glory or Shame?

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See the Map, from A my place, to B in Carbondale Co. In less than 30 days I travel that road. Is it my road to Glory, or Shame? At the Nationals Nursery will I rise or fall? Will they remember my name or will watchers put the memory of the bad run in some dark place to forget.

Don't examine the route to see whether it's the best route. If you don't select a preference, google maps will send you up the interstate and across bloody Kansas. I can't do that, it's too boring, to flat. But the New Mexico southern route I've traveled before and am not afraid of the switchbacks and slow travel of the byways, so this route is my route. The last part through the mountain passes looks like fun. I'll see some pretty country.

I love my home area and won't move, but if I were to move I'd give preference to the beauty of the Southern Colorado area. Pagosa Springs or Durango. I'm not alone as when I've been there I've seen many old fat folks that have thought the same and retired there. But I digress. The Road looms.

Cormac McCarthy wrote The Road. He wasn't talking about Route 66 or romance or adventure or happy endings. He was talking about a struggle for survival. A road not only less traveled but a hard road where to travel and survive was victory. Not a gauntlet with an end but a long road with perhaps no end. The Road was a test of will, our will to live and keep our humanity, in the midst of hopelessness and deprivation. Wonderful book. Pretty good movie.

Two roads diverged into a wood and the poet took the one less traveled by and was the better for it. But that's not so much my road or this road. Going to a dog trial is not a life changing choice. Plus most of my life is behind me. I'm not starting off, I'm topping off. I'm on my bucket list, not my someday list. This is "now" I'm living and the consequences are short term.

So glory or shame? Which shall it be? Tell me dear reader. Does my success depend on whether I "stand on the neck of mine enemies"? Must I win to win? Perhaps a little. Don't go if you're not trying to win. Otherwise it's prominade, a display, a strut like some barnyard rooster before the hatchet and dinner pot. No I want to win! I want to dance in little circles with my arms up in the air saying, "I won, I won. On this day in this place I am the best." Then like the slave's whisper in the Emperor's ear my wife can whisper, "enjoy, glory is fleeting."

But what if I get an odd draw, you know, the straggler, the breakaway, the knucklhead. The draw with two sheep and one cheetah! No flock all fleet. Must I even win then? If so I fail now because I won't. Last years final saw our biggest winner ever suffer a bad draw. Beautiful handling but not a big score. They don't give handling points, they give run points. For even the best handlers it's one day the white house and next day the outhouse.

So my Road, will it end in glory or shame? Here's the answer and the ending. If on that day, at that post, I do my best, and my dog is at her best, I will win. I may not have the highest score. But I will win. I will be proud of myself and my dog and my effort. My best is really all I have to give. If I can give that, and it's hard to do, I'll feel good and be content. I'm not driving out there thinking of applause I can't control. I'm not driving back thinking what a waste of time and money because I didn't place first. I want to do my best. I want to be on my game. I want to be quick and alert and ready to deal with the draw and weather and the early or late run. I want to win.

Glory is fleeting, certainty is an illusion, repose is not the destiny of man. Isn't life fun.

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