Archive for December 2011

Please Write Soon

December 28th, 2011 — 4:20pm

December 28th, 2011

It’s been a month since I posted a blog, and I’ve reached a point where I feel like I should send myself a letter saying, “Please write soon.”    I have no excuses.   I can say that the power of habit seems almost incalculable, both as a way to get things done and to not get things done.  Let  me just once lose the habit of doing something and it’s gone like it never existed.   Walking a couple of miles almost every day?  Did that for years–twenty years.  Trying to get back to it, and it’s not a couple of miles, either, so don’t ask.  Drinking 8 glasses of water a day?  Ditto.  Every day like clockwork, for years and years.  Now…  Oh.  Now I’m going to go get a glass of water.  Be back in a sec.  So bear with me as I limp into the blog again, winded and out of shape.

I ask my brain for an idea to write about and my mind stares at me blankly.  It says, “Can I have a mocha?”

I get it a mocha, but now it’s off sipping that, thinking only of the loveliness of chocolate, coffee, and whipped cream all in once place together, and I can’t get its attention at all.   I’m on my own.

I wrap my hands around the mug to keep them warm, and think.  It takes a long time.  What I come up with finally is this:

I meant to write about the snowy owl we saw on the way to work one morning just after Thanksgiving.

This traveler from the Arctic made my mind wander to far places–not just up into Alaska and across all of Canada and over Lake Superior, but also to quiet places within myself.  His foreignness made me think about new things,things I can’t even pin down and write about now, but which enlivened my day.

I think that’s what traveling and variation from our usual daily experience does for us, or can do.  I’m a homebody and a creature of habit, but at the same time I crave adventure and new experience.  Sometimes it flies in unannounced and unexpected, and I’m delighted.

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December 4th, 2011 — 7:33pm

It’s a very quiet time in the diner, and I’ve been focused on cleaning.  Cupboards and drawers are first up on my list, when usually they’re last.  The problem with being last is that too often I never get to them.  I just shove more in and slam the door shut.  I promise there’s nothing in my cupboards that’s a health hazard.  However.  I think they show a distressing tendency towards something or other.

Honestly I suspect my drawers and cupboards reveal that I’m unwell in some fundamental way.  Or, more forgivingly, I work too much and have too much going on almost all the time.  Also I was raised by two people who were children during the Great Depression and who both suffered profound personal losses at young, pivotal ages.  They may have had issues with loss that were  so diffuse in the air I grew up in that it could never be differentiated from the regular air.  There’s no criticism meant here.  I just wonder if their early losses shaped them in ways that shaped us, their children, into shapes and habits it’s easy to never quite get around to noticing, until something catches your attention.

Today the things I found in my toothbrush drawer in the employee restroom caught my attention.

*One antique brass tool check tag, carefully wrapped in white paper.

*One 30-06 rifle bullet.

*One shard of milk glass.

*Seventeen stray buttons (and here I feel a disproportionate wave of relief that I have a button box, a box whose sole function in my life is to hold hundreds of buttons that I will never do anything with, but I’ll deal with that a different day or year or decade).

*Seven assorted screws and nails.

*Seven single ear rings.

*A gold dollar.

*A penny.

*A broken bracelet I haven’t worn in twelve years (I have cleaned the drawer more often than that, although twelve years does fly by faster than I ever thought possible).

*Six bobby pins  (I haven’t used a bobby pin more than six times in my adult life, but they were part of my childhood–my grandma wore her hair up in two pinned braids, always– and apparently some silent but stubborn part of me insists that they need to be part of my adulthood too).

*Toothpaste (hurrah!  That stays).

My toohtbrush, plus a spare (ditto).

I will leave everyone to draw their own conclusions while I return to this absorbing task I’m determined to finish in the next fifteen minutes.

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