Friday, February 25, 2011


Journey to the interior

Day six of a standard run-of-the-mill cold. Being ill is such an interesting time. It allows one to practice acceptance and surrender - since there are no other options - and, as long as one can concentrate sufficiently, it also allows one to read for great uninterrupted swaths of time. Guilt-free. Not that I ever suffer from that much guilt while reading, but after days and days of almost nothing but, even I feel like I should be up and doing.

Early in the week, I lost myself in Edwardian uppercrusty British novels (The Ladies of Lyndon by Margaret Kennedy and A Room with a View by E.M. Forster). And my penchant for travel narratives continued to ramble along (A Traveller in Italy by H.V. Morton and James Herriot's Yorkshire) side by side with a yearning for the completely frivolous (How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson). And if all that wasn't enough, between cups of tea and boxes of tissues, I added in a few books by a spiritual teacher of non-duality who truly blows my mind (Emptiness Dancing and Falling into Grace by Adyashanti). All that is to say, even though my physical self was suffering, my interior was deeply happy. Like Thoreau in Concord, I have traveled much.

Now my head is clearing, literally and figuratively, and I am experiencing sparks of interest in the outside world again. To wit, I've got a seed catalogue in front of me, from the incomparable Fedco, and although snow is falling steadily and the garden remains under a bolster of white, I am thinking about what to plant this year. And later today I'll be sorting out paintings for some shows, and figuring out what to frame. This summer will be a busy season for me, and may be a watershed of sorts. I'll have paintings for sale all over the place, and should discover if this second career of mine will be a viable one. Not that that would stop me from painting, because it won't. I mean, bookselling is and isn't, and just look at me. Why anything should be so hopeless and so hopeful at the very same time, I'm sure I don't know. Enough rambling - back to work!

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