PF-Albatross_1438672cI built a skateboard once when I was on the cusp of really turning old and brittle.

I’d found a skateboard truck…the part that attaches to the board and holds the wheels on…at a great price and decided to build a skateboard.

I was obsessed with surfing at the time…and I figured that skateboarding might be the closest I’d get to surfing for a while.

It’s strange how obsessions go.  I still think that surfing is pretty amazing.

I’m over any interest in skateboarding…or at least I’m more realistic about my chances of surviving an attempt to skateboard.

Anyway, I built this skateboard piece by piece…bargain by bargain…until I’d finished what turned out to be a fairly decent board.

And then I was too chicken to really ride it much.  The fear of cracking my head open was too big a hurdle to jump.

No double ollies with a twist for me.

Sometimes a blog post is like that skateboard…a word can be a springboard into something that can veer off the road at any time.

I woke up this morning thinking, “what the heck am I going to write about now?!!” and the word albatross popped into my head.


Now why would I think of that word?

In the Coleridge poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the Mariner is forced to wear a dead albatross around his neck after shooting the bird with a crossbow.

The albatross is seen as being a sign of good luck, so when he shoots it down it’s an issue with the other sailors on board.

So that’s where we get the definition of albatross that explains that it’s a “worrisome burden…a hindrance to success”.

My subconscious must be working while I’m asleep.

Now that has to be a novel concept.

I suppose that I have my “albatrosses” that I carry around.

I think that there’s an app for that now.

Or at least a special sling or pouch or well designed carrier that helps to ease the burden.

Maybe that’s the thing about albatrosses…if you carry it long enough, it just becomes a part of you and you don’t notice the weight?

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m some sort of junior Woody Allen….full of neurosis and angst, nervous and apprehensive of his future.

I’m not like that.  I’m not completely like that.

And if I am like that, I try and keep a lid on it as well as I can.  My albatrosses are all figurative…they’re easier to hide that way.

I don’t know why I keep revisiting these old, dead issues, though.  I guess it’s just a part of how some of us are put together….feeling the need to figure out something that happened in the past.

All these dead issues that I trip over…the only thing keeping them alive is my tendency to pay them a visit more often than I need to.

Then again, it may be that I just liked the sound of the word “albatross”.

I don’t think that the dogs on the route can really understand me, but I know they like it when I say the word “bone”.

So maybe it doesn’t go any deeper than liking the sound of the word.

Tomorrows word might be “immolation”…that kind of rolls off the tongue.

Now I’ll just have to look up the definition and we’re off to the races.


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