Posted on 17 January 2004

I have to change my ways and become a more balanced person but if I do this will I still be me? Robertson Davies explores such unbalance in “The Cunning Man.” Gail Godwin also wrote about such people and I wrote her words down (where it is, I haven’t a clue – some journal?) and she describes passionate souls as being a source of light, as people who really know how to live and I naturally, vain creature that I am, think myself passionate. If I’m writing, doing display in the store – any creative act – I ignore all else. Food is unimportant. Sleep is a waste of time. So what if the house is a mess. I’ll pay that bill tomorrow.

But I’m also a person who likes order and after expending my energy, I crash and lash out at myself and even hate my unbalanced ways.

Vaughan sent me an email the other day telling me to take care of myself and my energy. She even gave me instructions on how to breathe. (Vaughan used to teach yoga. She has more discipline than I’ll ever know.) I do forget to breathe – I need to be reminded.

But last night, I did manage to do my French budget but having never done one before, I don’t know if it is acceptable or not. We’ll see. I have a meeting at noon today with Marlene and Ramona regarding this year’s French Writing Workshop. This one should be easier. I only hope that the heat is not so intense but now, at a distance, I think the heat added to the adventure. But I will definitely add several fans to my French household.

I spoke to my friend Susan in Castelnau de Montmiral this morning. She hasn’t been well and blames her fatigue on too many visitors last year. Susan loves visitors and, if you read this blog in the summer, you will remember that she met a young musician on a train and invited him to her house. He came with a beautiful young woman and the village was filled with sounds from his classical guitar and her violin. They gave a private concert in Susan’s living room and I felt as if I’d stepped into the past and was at a salon – perhaps one of the kinds that the courtesans used to hold in Paris. If it had only been them, Susan would probably be fine but she continued to have guests well into the fall and now she’s paying. I wish I was there. (Oh I know, Susan can be cantankerous and difficult but she is also more than wonderful. When I called, she said she was just going upstairs to read poetry with David.) I love her love of literature and her almost childlike bursts of enthusiasm.

As I write about Susan, I think of all the amazing friends I have and am grateful. (And wonder also how they can love a crazy unbalanced Irish woman.)

At the moment – before I run to shower and drive downtown – I’m breathing.

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