Wednesday, October 22, 2008

almost made it

I almost made it an entire month without posts. . . . It's one month exactly today.

I found that I did not want an archive with no posts at all for the month of October, however, so here goes:

There is no overarching point or purpose here, unless you could call change - and the setting in of fall - a theme of sorts. That, and loss. Depression even. There's a change in the air, and even the beautifully brilliant colours can't hide the loss of summer and growing things, and the death that winter brings.

So, too, the brilliancy of the hope that is being bandied about can not hide the loss of so much of what I have valued in the United States of America. I was particularly struck by the thoughts of Patrick Dineen in this article. Surprisingly, it added an element of hopefulness to my outlook amidst all the gloom and doom. Not that Dineen sees much promise ahead. Au contraire, he predicts a season in the wilderness. Maybe several seasons.

What I found encouraging, though, was his sense that at least the Republican party appears to be thinking and re-thinking its position, viability and values. Not so, the side of liberalism. I was most taken with his image of a recent debate - or some such program - at Georgetown. For all the youthful enthusiasm of Obama's supporters, Dineen noted that he "was struck that it appeared to be an inversion of a McCain-Obama debate, with a youthful, thoughtful conservative and an old, hackneyed liberal."


Meanwhile, I've also cut back on a lot of my outside reading. I'm surprised at what I've kept up with, though. I'll read just about anything from Dineen, so long as he doesn't post 5 lengthy perambulations, which he is more than capable of doing on any given day. Ditto Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project (occasional fluff, but frequent gems. . . . scan quickly). Fellow postgrad Lee Anne, in the final throes of her doctoral quest and now new pregnancy, whenever she has the time or energy to post. . . . Unclutterer, because I am still hopelessly cluttered and overwhelmed. . . . but trying to dig out, now that we've moved and are into our "permanent home."

You know, I don't know that I've ever been in a Permanent Home. There's a lot of pressure on me now, to set it up right, because this is Permanent. Before, I could always get away with "This'll do for now.

There's still a lot of this'll-have-to-do-for-now-ing going on, as I continue unpacking boxes and throwing books onto shelves, way too many kitchen-ey things into cabinets, and try to figure out what happened to any concept of linen closets to house things like towels, napkins, sheets, and tablecloths. . . .

Meanwhile, I'm getting on with the fellowship (the time is flying), I leave for Belgium in a few days to give a paper (I'll see Magda! Yay!), and I have another paper to prepare for a conference in January. San Diego! That'll be nice. We're still considering traveling to Ireland for an official graduation the middle of December, depending on what air fare does in the meantime. Not to mention what the Euro/Dollar exchange rate does! Our big fellowship conference is in March - or is it April? - and I understand that, if I want to do this same sort of thing next year, now is the time to be applying for it.

Bad thought. Because that just dropped me into the abyss of recognizing that our elected officials spend most of their time raising money and campaigning, rather than actually DOING anything. . . . And now I might have to be doing a very similar thing, and not working right now, so that I can hope to have work next year. This is pretty silly.

Okay! Let's think of something pretty instead.

Thinking. . . .

Thinking. . . .

Thinking. . . .

Hmmm. Maybe it's time for another cup of coffee. Then start in on the various unpleasant phone calls on my list of things to do today. Oh, and tidy the house, at least. The king's mother is coming over for the first time today. This is the same woman who, when the king mentioned one day that he had to get home to get started on the laundry, asked him "Oh honey. . . .is everything ok with your marriage?"


Think of something pretty. . . . .

thinking. . . .

thinking. . . .

thinking. . . .

I would be less than honest if I didn't tell you that it's very easy for me to think of something pretty these days. . . . All I have to do is look out the window. Ah! And there goes something else very pretty: the deep bells of the grandfather clock of my childhood. It's older than I am, has been in an attic somewhere for years now, and my parents delivered it to our house yesterday. It's so good to see it - and hear it - again.

I feel better.

1 comment:

Lee Anne said...

Yeah! Happy to have you back!

A permanent home... Hmmm, I don't think I would know what to do with myself or all the boxes I usually have shoved in the closets and the garage, you know, the ones I'll unpack or get rid of during the next move.

Have fun in Belgium! And take care!