Friday, March 30, 2007

“The Hanging End of a Very Long Rope”

I am slow with my reading these days, as I am very busy with the estate, the Memorial Service, the novel and more than I want to bore you with. I know everyone is busy, or nearly everyone.

That reminds me of a story. When I was working at the museum there was a secretary, a very nice lady, a little older. Let’s call her May. Every day during my lunch hour, for years, I ran out to do errands, to walk, to play, to read. I ‘d go to the bank and make transfers, I’d return books to the library or visit the bookstore or buy something I needed or talk a long walk or do T’ai Chi or meditate. I was always eager for lunch and would dash out the door to do whatever I’d decided to do. May, however, was bored and sat at her desk wishing she had somewhere to go and something to do. More than once, she asked me wistfully if she could run some of my errands for me. The first time she asked that, I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t imagine anyone so bored that they would offer to run my errands. Unfortunately, I was too stupid to give her some of my tasks, too impulsive to be that organized. It always seemed that the things I had set for myself where not things easily assigned to someone else, banking at the ATM, picking out a new book to read. I am very rarely bored as long as I can DO what I want to do. I only get bored when I am trapped somewhere (like at the doctor’s office) without a book or paper or computer and feel uncomfortable doing t’ai chi and too agitated to meditate. There’s always (almost always) something to do. I cannot even imagine being bored if left to my own devices and free.

I am always too busy with too much to do, too many ongoing projects. Novels, poetry manuscripts, art projects. Walking and reading and then there are meals to cook and laundry to do and beds to make and unpacking and all that and family things like piano lessons. Last night we went off to but new track shoes for Graham who is now in track. We went to Staples and so on (oh and didn’t I say I wouldn’t bore you with all this?) OK, stopping that now.

So anyway, I am reading, still, An American Childhood by Annie Dillard, which I am enjoying. She reminds me a lot of myself, but she is more musical and more focused. We’re both very curious and engaged and interested in biology and nature and writing and art. However, she’s famous and I’m not. LOL.

She says, on page 150, “Every least thing I picked up was proving to be the hanging end of a long rope.” That sentence stopped me crash. It’s my life, and it affects every aspect of my life. Learning. Projects. Tasks. Hobbies. Blogging. Google searches. Wikipedia.

Everything I start to learn, everything I start to do balloons and balloons. There is always more and more to learn, more and more to do. Investigations, curiosities. A sort of endlessness to everything, and such a finite day and life to do it all in! So I need to stop this and start doing it!!! (Of course writing is one of those endlessly expanding things!) Posted by Picasa


BerryBird said...

It's funny how one thing leads to another, isn't it? I am always seeing things that look so cool, I think, I must do that! But it doesn't always work out. Like I saw there is going to be a Blogger BioBlitz in April at Earth Day, and got all excited. However, I can barely keep up as a weekend blogger as it is. So I am not signing up. If I can squeeze it in, I'll join last minute.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Oh, don't EVEN tell me about THAT! OY VAI! Horrors I could definitely get lost there.