Saturday, August 01, 2009

saturday morning solace

"At the worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived."
—Rose Macaulay, from today's Writer's Almanac

Last weekend I was in Michigan visiting my sister. Grand Rapids in July (fleeing Houston) is a delight. Houston in December (fleeing Grand Rapids) is likewise. The berries were abundant and the mornings were cool. I was thrilled to have four whole days with my sister. Just two sisters and the occasional child, grandchild or friend stopping by. [I, not too subtly, also celebrated the absence of her rod-up-his-ass, soon-to-be ex-husband.] We tinkered around her new/old (1925) and completely beguiling Craftsman bungalow. Fixing this, unsticking that. In between we dined and napped and talked and laughed.

This weekend I'm facing a little post-visit slump. And the return of the What Am I Doing with My Life Short and Long Term Goal Review. I probably go through this too much, but time passes and a girl wants something to show for it.

So I review. And remember to count that time spent relaxing with partner or self is not wasted time. Inner Puritan be silenced. But there are items ahead. Projects. Travel. Health care. House Repair. Writing. Reading. Major and Minor Expenses. And I want to do it all and do it really well. Which is a key to my inaction.

When I was a girl, I joined the ranks of band fags everywhere and took up the french horn. I loved the horn. I loved the sound it produced (when I didn't make it sound like an elephant in rut). I loved the design of it. I loved the way it blended in the orchestra and I loved when it rose above the ensemble. But I was a mediocre horn player. That was clear for 8 years. It was one of the only activities I persisted at, knowing that I would never excel.

I remind myself of this when I am unwilling to complete something that isn't exactly what I wanted. When I become mired in perfection. Which is part of the reason I am writing this mediocre, self-serving post. Blogging can be a tiresome examination of all things mundane. It's not my goal. But I'm getting out of practice, so this is my response to just writing something.

I have some lumber that needs cutting. I refuse to go outside and work in this bloody heat. I ought to clean the mess in the rest of the house...but hell, why not haul in the miter saw and cover that back room in sawdust anyway? Unkept or unlived? It's a pretty easy choice.