We all walk ancientrails. Welcome to the journey.

Living

Written By: Charles - Jul• 24•20

Summer and the Lughnasa Moon

Friday gratefuls: The Norsemen, a funny sendup of the Vikings. (which I also liked.) Derek’s continuing to cut up and cart away our felled trees. Children of Time, a sci fi book about terraforming, genetic manipulation, and the end of earth’s history. Spiders and ants and humans, oh my. Peter Praski who fixed our fan and our lights. Alan’s commitment to the political process. Sally’s thaw. The Mussar crowd.

Still on vacation. Enjoying my focus on domestic chores like putting up smoke detectors (10-year batteries. Thanks, Tom.), laundry, getting the fan fixed, the stumps ground down, windows washed, and gutters cleaned. Cooked a bit, not up to my pre-Seoah standards. Out of practice. Will improve.

Pleased with the healing of the angry skin around Kate’s stoma site. Gradually. Gradually. Next up we have to knock down the nausea that ruins her days. Not sure how to do that, but we’re gonna focus on it. Help her have more strings of better days. So dispiriting when she has to leave the breakfast table to lie down.

Still feeling that limbo Kate talked about. In between. Not at a threshold, not in a liminal space, though I’ll appreciate that when it comes.

Getting things cleaned up and reorganized has been good. Feels good. My mind has fewer anchors like, oh, when will I get around to that? That being those books and papers on the bookshelf in the living room. That being getting the final trees down for fire mitigation. That being the gutters that need cleaning. That being the disorganized state of the loft.

As I pull up the anchors, I can feel the engine beginning to rumble below decks. No idea of the destination when I can finally slip away.

A friend recently talked about all the volunteer work he’s been doing since retirement seven years ago. Do I still need to feel productive, he asked? Maybe there’s something deeper going on here?

Has made me think about our American obsession with work. A Calvinist slant to our hearts. If we work, we’re good. If we don’t work, we’re lazy. Or, bad. Makes retirement a conundrum. Work is over with. Let’s get to it, then. Get to what?

Work. In my imagination a post-neolithic revolution idea. Tend the field. Care for the animals. Fix the house. Govern the village. I’m sure the hunter-gatherers had their obsessions, too, but I don’t think it was work. In the third phase we try to leave work behind us only to reinstate it covertly. Or sometimes vertly.

My suspicion is that we all need something that gratifies us, satisfies us, gives us a chance to be who we are. I cast off the mantle of work for those things and name them living.

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