Tuesday, January 31, 2006


A great many of my boringly circular thoughts could be cured by J.A.M.. Am I prepared to spend money to stop boring myself?

Especially now that God has delivered a judgement on me by undercutting my dexterity and stamina, both. I doubt I should do any carpentry or painting at all until my thumb is normal again, and finishing the living room ceiling is top of my list: carpentry, filling, sanding, priming and painting. See, I know it, I just can't DO it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Randal the Farrier

Roger died today. I think he recognised me yesterday afternoon, he squeezed my hand and tried to talk but was drugged up. I sat with him and marvelled at how well he looked - like Jesus, just a draped loin-cloth, and with his long hair and beard and very clean feet, even a wound in his side, just a bruise but it set me thinking. He was breathing evenly and I could see a strong pulse in his diaphragm. I felt he could live for ever.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Retread sounds like a botch. Could be more accurate than I intended.

I aspire to renewal, metamorphosis. the swing of the seasons, the stages of gestalt, the new Jerusalem, birth, rebirth. "Behold, all things are become new", which translates as quickening, kairos not chronos. This is why I love Whitehead and Process Thought.

I NEED far more of this conceptual intoxication. Surface living is just unbearable.

Hateful words: margarine, tarmac, mall, dander, victim, and anything in an infomercial.

I am distressed when wonderful words are put to blasphemous use, (blasphemy being the use of higher things for lower purposes), but these are the Untouchables: Grace. Kindness. Altruism. Tolerance. Light-heartedness. Generosity. Understanding. Empathy. Strength. Optimism.

Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


If I REALLY want to mess with my head, filing is it. Totally fussed and incoherent (as in, two thoughts can't cohere).

I bought coloured file tabs yesterday because the only expert who seemed to know what she was doing suggested colour-coded categories and sub-categories (we didn't get down to sub-sub-categories). After dogged sorting and dating, both of which I am ill-equipped to deal with for starters, I went to Borders and found five books on organising, filing etc. All were risible, of the sort-it-into-three-big-piles order. Plainly the experts are keeping this sort of thing close to their chests.

Today, as I sat putting coloured tabs in the required order, alphabetacising main headings (and yea, the categories within), Stefan brings out file BINDERS for 2003 and 2004, with papers punched and entered neatly in alphabetical order. So what are the hanging files for? Particularly since I can't understand how anyone can use hanging files without securing the loose papers (I used a two-hole punch and binders, in the Old Country).

I am going to concede defeat and buy file binders for BILLS, but at least I will have one for work one for house, and the hanging files can have information in them.

What bothers me is my insufficiency in the face of all this. Yes it is a new system, but I didn't work out my own salvation through logic, and couldn't find resources to educate myself. Crushed and belittled, I crawl off to Staples.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The View from my Navel

I am definitively, past-hope bored when I sing Norah Jones with a strong Glaswegian accent. "Ye'll..beee..own...my...min'....furr...rehehver."

At 4am I watched a rivetting program on the Periodic Table, the alkali metals. It set me brooding on my compromised scientific skills - did I miss the gene? Had I a rotten teacher? Character defects? Because it is inherently fascinating, chemistry in particular. I am tempted to get some simple text on the Periodic Table just for fun. How could Sodium be a step up from Neon? It opens worlds before my feet.

Also fretting that I can't draw perspective, which is needed for the view down Norma and Michael's hall to the new doors. A night course in Measured Drawing perhaps.

So, the Siren's Call at the moment is coming from:

Which sounds like a lifetime at community college.

I was so limp yesterday I floated up the hill from the Farmers' Market, but at least it doesn't hurt much. It helps to know it isn't real pain, just the nerves firing blanks, and I don't feel pain like other people anyway.

Maybe my complaint is at being confined (right now) to the life of the mind, when I so love getting my hands mucky. Involvement in the natural world, involvement with people. Stamina. I can see all these things, but can't touch them.

Friday, January 13, 2006


Well, I do have shingles, so now am taking the tablets and spending a lot of time on a sofa. It really doesn't hurt that much except at night, and I have some Mummy's Little Helper pills for that. Very spacey though.

So I'm glad we are back from Reno. I have spent all my thinking time for the past week on Norma's new kitchen and drawing, redrawing compulsively. We talked about it last night and it is very exciting, I love her colours and ideas, and working them into things which will fit it to her requirements and personality. It is only suggestions from me of course, they will do what they want, I mustn't over-identify.

Back to the sofa, and peel me a grape.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Now mark this

I remember my mother saying she was happiest when we were little, although she qualified that by saying it was a high level of general happpiness, a plateau. I must have been about seventeen when I asked her, and now I find myself looking back and seeing that the golden time for me was - when the children were little! More specifically: at Park Village, when we had Felix, we were all well, and the whole, proper household revolved around extended family living. We had plenty of work but we weren't driven, I had plenty of help and company so I could keep a very open house, with guests and family and passers through. I think the apotheosis was one summer when we always seemed to have ten or twelve to dinner, and it always seemed to be on the long terrace outside, with the children free in the garden below, living transformed into the divine. Weave a circle round me thrice, and close your eyes with holy dread.

I do experience more bliss now, and quite reliably; I am bletting nicely before final liquefaction.

Norma has sent me the draft of her proposed kitchen so I have printed it out to mull over. I gorge on three-dimensional thinking, but it has less colour than the glorious rough and tumble of family living. Order needs chaos.

Friday, January 06, 2006


"Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is, in a way, dangerous. It says we should ultimately aspire to realizing our full potential. But I'm not sure. I've been aspiring to realize my full potential for years, and you know what? It's a constant struggle to be better, but you can never win. It's exhausting. I spend way too much time and emotional energy considering my flaws and how to better myself. I could probably stand a little less self-actualization and a little more complacency."

Maslow is not of enormous intellectual stature though, is he. He planted his tiny flag on Chakra Theory and the Kabalistic Tree of Life, renaming the stages with earth-bound, rational-materialistic labels. He is the surveyor who measures the garden, one more time.

No 'shoulds' in there at all. Prffupppt to Maslow, consider the lilies.

Mrs Clean

I have been worshipping at the shrine of Hestia this week. Ruthless with my makeup, particular with my clothes, clinical with my bedside table and downright hygienic for once in the kitchen, scrubbing out the mousey cupboard with pine disinfectant, all drawers too, even the classic everything drawer. I made brioche, scones, soup with the ham bone Cissy gave me, Shepherd's Pie (properly); I ironed, stitched, knitted and mended, then cleaned out the cars to a poor standard so that is obviously my limit.

Since I sneer in my immigranty way at the vast cupboards, basements and storage units crammed with THINGS here (USA), I am honour bound to recycle and chuck, and do it with a will. My ritual items shine all the more in a clear space.

Achilles heel: pens. We must have a gross of them.

It is not about being materialistic or otherwise (is there a true opposite to "materialistic"?). I think I am arrogant about my choices, judgemental, arbitrary and wilful, and I cherish this. I love the feeling of utter certainty when I make a choice as much as the freedom of having the potential to choose. The whole thing is fun.