Of all the places we lived or rented here are my favourite things:
- being able to ski out the back door in privacy, having the woods to myself or ourselves
- blue glass triangular shower powder room with skylight with no walls but one floor drain
- heated floor in the bathroom with a dimmer switch and window opening to bare sky
- outdoor shower looking into the forest
- view of the top of backs of flying birds, tiny figures below
- 12th century cottage with thick stone walls and fig trees and lizards in the yard
- a profound quiet except for billions of leaves
- farmers markets and fruit stands, bakeries and boulageries in every direction
- late medieval cottage with a fireplace indoors and frog pond and herb garden outdoors with bicycles to explore lanes
- a window seat in built-in maple shelves made by a local cabinetmaker
- a few steps from deck of dark sky night to canoes and a lake to explore
- fireplace and hottub in the bedroom and a catered breakfast buffet of fruit and bread
- new kitchen toys like blender or slow cooker
- a perfect teacup of a chair
- views of hills and pheasants and rabbits
- horses nearby
- indoor or indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool
- books to explore
The pattern is as clear as the plague symptoms on the doctor’s own body. Once the regular schedule of blogging stops, once a person goes from daily to occasionally, highly irregular is rarely far away. I saw it coming but life has its own insistences.
A theme of the last few months is waiting for want. Want if very quiet, unless it is a want of a cat. I had an old premise that without pressing myself, depression would suck me dry and bitter. What if pressing itself does that? Perhaps that is the fruit of both directions of excess.
It’s been a year of reflection and withdrawal. I removed myself from various groups and organizations, stopped going to events except every month or two. I largely stopped having tea or dinner with people The idea of throwing a couple parties didn’t happen. I have had a couple months reading little poetry and writing almost none, which isn’t unprecedented but it has been a long time. There is a season to gather and a season to harvest.
The summer had been my mom, her tumour removed, heart valves replaces, excess fluid in limbs and lungs, then a full break for hubby & I to withdraw and renew our energies.
As with any holiday, the first week is essential, but not yet holiday exactly. We sit and we sleep and restore from depleted. My headaches and twitchiness continues for a week, wanting to make fake busy, nervous as a mouse in a cat kennel. After that we get to the rest part.
The European idea of a 6 week vacation seems about right. Time to decompress, find a rhythm and be able to see beauty that slipped. You can’t order beauty to appear or expect it but if you refuse the usual tides of bullshit and bullseyes long enough, its grace might make an appearance.
Beauty is a funny thing. You can gorge yourself until sick but a few hours later, appetite is back. It is a kind of nutrition, beauty, nature, ground, lack of mechanical sound pestering. Eventually the eyes could move in a sweep of distances, instead of stagger about from one locked position, unsticking to next locked position. The world gets more three dimensional.
By week 3, there’s new kinds of aches and strengths. Atrophied smile muscles are getting a workout. The sedentary habit of home gave way to being able to have full use of my body again. I could hike for a couple hours up hills. I could canoe with ease, feel the muscle burn, but no pain afterwards, only deep sleep and waking without that buzz off mental metal walls.
Coming home I crashed into the thorny thicket of old habit and my body immediately slapped me with days of body penalties, headaches and muscle hurt like I have been free of. But to be free of something is to know that contrast is possible. So, how to live properly again. It can be done.
Dew on the grass
Cows standing one by one wondering what I’m up to.
My ambition for a day often exceeds it but yesterday was a rush of compound successes, and then, slow and steady, shall we put it?
The roots of my appreciation for surreal is now clear: continuous exposure to non sequitur.
-Any questions? asks nurse,
-Can you have cola? asks mom
-You like soft drinks, do you?
-No never have it, answers mom.
-Then why did you ask?, asks nurse, laughing.
Conversation always veering to random play. Non-narrative accumulation. Other patients found the randomness (or knowledge for knowledge sake?) charming and funny. An interpretation I hadn’t considered.
I’m used to her in the context of her being micromanaged, dismissed, lead, and bullied by family. Her hospital roommate said “you’re mom’s my hero. She’s one smart cookie” and they’re getting on great.
Her friend’s husband chatted with me on the phone which never happened before. They’ve been friends 25 years, about as long as I’ve been away from home. A good portion of a lifetime.
Barry McKinnon interview broken over several segments. In part 6 he related an audience question, “do you write traumatic monologues?”
Creeley said “I write short poems because my wife keeps walking into the room. These are not profound metaphysical arguments but they are real.”
McKinnon observes “A lot of theoretical writing doesn’t lead me anywhere”.
What did I get out of reading that?
That question is tacked to my mental bulletin board. Sometimes all I gain is bitterness and rancour because I want the salient but in that sweet spot not what I already have confirmed.
With some reading it’s with hopes of getting hooks to get something that comes later, some way to anchor to something said by someone I have yet to meet. Sometimes I don’t have any way to grasp. It’s to prepare to leapfrog. It isn’t comforting to hear what I already believe. A diet of irony and poking isn’t complete. Colbert Report is long gone but Last Week Tonight with John Oliver could get taxing eventually. It’s still the same thing of news, seeking eyeballs, consumption.
Reading science and history helps. Doing physical work helps but still my bullshit meter is buzzing more than the cat meows.
I suppose I can see my shakes for web-contact since I’m busy, and out of wifi range, and my iphone kacked so I’m back to twitch-reach gesture. I finally have systems to compose shopping list and poem parts on it. On the other hand I found my notebook, but I can’t keyword search paper. Except with eyes.
Lastly, I don’t understand ‘male footwear’ Are there no cobblers? Do shoes come covered with functional penises? And that’s where soles come from…
So much desire to do the yardarm-length wish list, but brain and body are all heavy impediments instead of implements.
I won’t even show what riot the sow weed is up to out there. The kale is doing decently tho.
Yesterday I was up, zoom-zoom. Then I crashed into a nearly 4 hour afternoon nap. Which didn’t prevent my 8 hours last night. More military nightmares of POW camps and escapes. All the joints are stiff. Stretching. I have over a dozen library books out and can’t see it being absorbed.
Ah, kvetch broadcast over in 10-9-8…
Time to cook mom lunch. She’s with us for
2 days a day before her heart surgery. Admission is 2 days ahead.