To everything there is a season

Posted on 03 June 2009

a time for every purpose under the sun…

The other evening, we had friends for dinner and Marlene created the substance – a potato and chickpea curry. (She is a wonder in the kitchen, can make something delicious from anything, refusing to waste – even the tops of the green onions.)
We began the evening at Ruth’s artistically renovated houses – two ancient dwellings linked with a short staircase from kitchen to dining area – with kirs and tiny squares of bread topped with tapinade, cheese, and olives. 
I  left a few minutes early to add the finishing touches to our casual dinner. Plates and cutlery are placed en masse on the table, food on the island so our guests won’t feel stuck in one place and can circulate.
I don’t know about anyone else but I loved the evening. This may sound corny (I can hear Susan sigh) but there is something special about each individual who gathered this evening, speaking French, German, and English, representing Scotland, England, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, and Canada, who share a love for this tiny village, music and literature, good food and conversation. There is no pretention. Silliness and seriousness abound. 
This morning I sit on the terrace wondering what to do with myself. Brendan is down three flights of stairs working. Marlene is down one flight. Although this house isn’t large, there is easily enough room for the three of us to live and work and not disturb each other.
I am the only one not doing serious work. I think now worrying about our West Van home is futile. Finally I accept that it may take some time to sell, or may not sell this time round. (Rob and I have decided we will rent it if nothing happens in the next month.) I have to move on and do something but what?  I am not sure but I realize after several days of proprioceptive writing that I am not content being just a cleaner of houses. I need more – some work that excites me. Money would be nice but I’ve never been successful at making money. Though this pisses me off and often makes me feel like excess baggage, I have to admit that it has never been a priority. And it is too late to work my way up the corporate ladder. I could take some job, any job, for a pittance to make something…
I feel like a bore. What would inspire me, spark my passion for words beyond Scrabble on Facebook? I tell myself I’m improving my vocabulary but I know, deep down, that I am procrastinating, avoiding the real work of writing. 
I don’t know where to begin. I don’t like what I’ve done so far with my novel. It’s too contrived, not rich, too ponderous, not full of fun and laughter. It’s boring. I am too heavy, too weighed down, putting emphasis on all the wrong things – like my incessant cleaning for one – spending hours on things that I could accomplish in one concentrated hour. How do I move away from this behavioral pattern? Perhaps I shall tie myself to a chair. 
Since turning sixty, I have been aware of time and how quickly it is gone, how little I have left. Ruth spoke of going to an island, learning how to die… and I see that I fear death, not finding myself, leaving before I have done what I want to do. I’m driving myself crazy but what if I have to be more crazy, let go of control, to do what I ache to do?  
Somehow the body has got lost in the housework. I imagine that I have a choice. I can have a sparkling clean house, a home that others covet, desire, would give anything to have. Or I can spend one glorious afternoon in the orgasm tent of Ruth’s story – with my true love. 
Which would you prefer?

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