“I have never killed a bat and splattered the blood all over the wall in front of the kids…”
Sounds like someone’s been rock-n-rollin’ all night, huh? Sounds like something you’d hear a skeezy looking lead singer saying over his shoulder at a reporter while trying to hide the alcohol burns in his eyes. Nah. It’s a quote from my kids’ elementary school principal in this week’s local paper.
The high school deviant I’m harboring deep in my subconscious wants to sneak into Jimmy’s office one day and change his ringtone to “Crazy Train.” The odd thing is I’m older than the elementary school principal. It’s weird to be in the principal’s office and not feel intimidated. In fact, the last few visits I’ve made to the school I’ve felt like the intimidating presence with my righteous parental outrage, my sport coat and tie, and my icy stare.
Last night Mandy and I attended a follow up/wrap up to the Transition Powell County Community Summit we had last month. We talked a lot about removing obstacles in the community to increase opportunity, especially for young people who want to stay in the area but feel like they have to leave town to go to college and eventually find a job. And we talked a lot about the kinds of partnerships that we need to build in order to facilitate better communication throughout the community. It was a good discussion.
Last night I had a lot of thoughts swirling in my head as we drove home. My mind was sparking like a downed power line. In one sense it’s overwhelming all the things that need to be done. But it’s also heartening that people are identifying problems and needs and seeking to find solutions.
Sitting around a table with people talking about the potential future of a community or region gets my synapses all ablaze and the sustainability manager comes out in me. I start applying all of my experiences to the problems and with each new issue or task I begin formulating a plan on how to make it work. But by the end of the meeting I realize I can’t do everything I want to do. At one point last night I just hit a wall. I became overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. I had to stamp out the feelings of despair that threatened to creep in. I had to try and pick out the one or two things that I know I am best suited to tackle and resolve to pursue those with focused energy.
We’ll see how this plays out as time goes on.
One grand idea I had last night is revealed in this text I sent to a couple of co-conspirators:
I think guys should have “Pampered Cyclist” parties.
I also shared this sentiment on facebook. My wife was quick to add:
Like the chef not the diapers.
Jefe replied to my text:
As in “wear pampers?” yeah, I’ve felt like that before.
I assured him we would soon do another ride that would make him wet himself.
Today Lexington is shrouded in autumn rain. I love days like this. I especially love days like this in Kentucky. I’ve missed the fall in my home state. I’d kill an endangered bat to be able to have the day off and be out in this mess.
This afternoon I’ll speed home in my gasoholic car. Tonight I’ll dream dreams of resilience and Appalachian exceptionalism. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do something truly amazing and write a long manifesto that changes the world. Or maybe I’ll just enjoy being alive and riding bikes with my kids.
So what’s the story with the bats?
The elementary school where my kids attend has had a problem with bats. In fact, the problem is rumored to involve endangered Indiana bats which has led to the 400 student school being shut down indefinitely while the school system deals with the problem. The quote from the paper is the first of a long list of rumors the principal seemed to be attempting to dispel about the bat scandal.
The rogue anarchist with a chip on his shoulder from his own days within the school system wants to teach his children to chant “Oz-ZY! Oz-ZY! Oz-ZY!” each time they encounter the principal. My wife gave me THE LOOK when I expressed an interest in doing so.