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Friday, December 2, 2016

December -- Can It Really Be?

Sun gave way to rain, with temperatures still mild enough that, except for bare trees, a wakening Rip Van Winkle might guess the month to be October rather than December. We rub our eyes and blink in confusion. But there is the big lighted tree at the T-intersection of Waukazoo and Nagonaba, and we remember Saturday’s holiday festivities throughout the village.

Her busy days a blur, one family member says. My mind blurs, too. In the background, on the radio, I seem to hear the Red Queen shouting, “Off with her head!”

Yes, yes, I’m reading. Of course. Ordering books, selling books, discovering books, loving books. That, after all, is a bookseller’s life.

Other aspects of life, however, such as the greater public scene, cannot always be held at bay, and I think of Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, saying to her father, “And they must marry! Yet he is such a man!”

Interludes of stimulating conversation make up parts of most days, as friends and customers (customer-friends) and I share coping strategies and positive actions we can take in a difficult political climate. (Thank you for your presence!)

Interludes. Reading. Sleep. Then the drumbeat again, pounding, pounding, pounding:

“He is such a man!”
“Off with her head!”
He is such a man!”
“Off with her head!”

Hard to ignore, and yet paying attention only fuels anger and frustration, so I pick up another book or a pencil or a pen – to read, to write, to draw.

You see, I had an entirely different post to write, but it went out the window, and the wind blew it away. Strange winds blow these days, but standing firm is a challenge I fear will only grow greater with time. Is it possible we may look back at these “difficult” times soon with something like nostalgia? Or will they possibly give way to calmer, more reasonable days. Which is more likely?

On Thursday afternoon for a while I fell into The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth’s sweet-cented Manuscript should close!
       The Nightingale that in the Branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

Roses! Those I brought into the house in mid-November are nearing their final days, but they have given me a long run, and the petals are still fragrant. They will not be dust for years to come. Remember.

What do I "mean"? You tell me.


Dawn said...

Hmmmm...I'm not sure. Yet your sketches will keep the rose alive for a good long time, so maybe that...but probably not.

Thank you for the Christmas card and the photos it contained! They are great! Have a wonderful holiday!!!

P. J. Grath said...

Dawn, the petals are still fragrant in a pottery bowl, though I've added nothing to them to make any official kind of potpourri. Rose petals just last a long time. Glad you liked the photos.