Wednesday, March 6, 2013

DAY 38) To Be or To Have Been?




Planes to catch have the effect of creating anxiety. Going is a complex thing. One not only has to have all sorts of security checks but then there’s the strange business of losing a day, or catching up a day! Let alone leaving a life behind. Can we get younger, or older, if we were just to keep going round and round the world?(?) And then (this heart-breaking news just-in) a dear friend of mine writes he is stuck with Badly Garlickbreath for a 12+ hour sidekick! One meets interesting people on journeys. And some things we do not catch. Like fate. Among my most memorable of moments was the Titanic actor, Frank McLeod, sputtering “Just my luck” as, useless ticket in hand, he watched ‘his ship’ already leaving. Sometimes it pays to miss a connection. Tonight I might have been packing it in. Tomorrow I would’ve been on a plane. Instead, I shall still be at typing and collating and selecting and editing, and the plane will leave without me. That decision was made last week. I’m a good day ahead, yet this journey is not yet done!

Loitering can make one late. Distractions can veer one of course. Being phlegmatic can create tardiness, disrupt punctuality, and frustrate dependability. Enjoying oneself can also interfere with datelines. We are given to dwelling in the past within our presents and so drag our feet as if walking backward with a sack-full of baggage. Not all baggage is an overnighter on handy little wheels; the weight of things might best not be judged by size. Carry-on baggage can be heavier than checked-ins, even though the more obvious stuff be at first removed. Or am I too obtuse?

It is choices that define our lives. Appointments, schedules, commitments, other’s expectations; such are obligations that keep us scurrying, or not. And ant-like we are on the search for something to fulfill time, even if it be just to catch the next episode of our favorite show. It is so; and so it will be. But when one has chance and one does not take it one may well live to regret the decision for a lifetime. Some choices I’ve made certainly have haunted me for decades!

This journey was to complete a Memoir for M’Lady. My personal day begins around 3:30 a.m. and goes until about 6:00 a.m. I use it to read, edit my work on my own computer in my bedroom, answer e-mails, and publish my Blog. Then I shower and dress for breakfast, and almost precisely at 6:30 a.m. M’Lady brings in rooibos tea. By 6:45 we breakfast. A little cereal; yogurt; a fruit; and one toast with her home-made marmalade. By 7:30 a.m. I am in my wheelchair facing her computer on the 12 person dining table. I smile at the ghosts against the walls who each come alert at the 17 stations with their familiar names, and I sublimate myself entirely to the process of transcribing M’Lady’s ongoing handwritten notes. I amend, add photos, and keep developing her family’s past. A present becomes a future; though we dwell so heavily in the present on the past. It is around 9:30pm that I come back to my personal time, and draft the daily essay, until 11:00ish. 

Then sleep. And so the pattern continues, until one's Memoirs are done!

It has been five weeks here. Thank goodness I am afforded another four! Yet one day I too will have to catch a plane. I shall go with the published Memoir done! (Lest there be other plans in the Big Sky?) I share such domestic details for those who care. Yet like all details, they’re filled with double-entendre, esotery, clandestine allusion, and messages between the lines. Such is the yoking of variables. No joke! And yes, at times `tis more-better to bend such a concept as ‘time.’  

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