Thursday, April 02, 2009

Gorgeously Beshrifted

Tosi's. Rode my bike here for the first time since it broke down last fall. It's not right yet: the rear brakes don't grip, despite all my adjustments, and in the lowest gears the chain starts to slip, though it doesn't come off. I suppose I'll either have to learn to fix it properly or pay someone to do so. Both are larger expenditures of time than I'm happy with. But things do take time. At least it's on the road again. And I can always go around the north ridge of Mt Tabor, rather than over it.

Still, some of the shine has gone off the bike. It wasn't actually the right bicycle for me, though I had no way of knowing that, really, when I bought it. What I want now is one of those big Dutch cruisers that you sit up straight on. My wrists are valuable to me now, and the slight airfoil advantage (to a slow rider) of being bent over is not worth the ergonomic disaster of making the wrists serve as secondary ankles. I don't want to set speed records: I just want to get places.

But it will be a while before I have that sort of discretionary income again. So I'll make do.

Feeling haunted by a lack of time. It's good to have my life so full of good opportunities that I don't have time to do them all: but Not Having Enough Time is not a mental state I want to allow myself to settle into. It becomes habitual, and it does horrible things to body and mind if it's entrenched. I have clients I'm convinced are being incrementally poisoned by it. I can even tell you where it accumulates in the body: in the upper, inner thighs and in the fleshy back of the neck.

I'm embarked on this food project, which takes considerable time. And March was a remarkably busy massage month for me. I've had a lot to do at the Foundation: I've been working some on the weekends there. So I've been feeling short on this time: the time when I'm beholden to nobody, the time I use to write poetry or dull quotidian blog entries such as this: time to back off, slow down, take stock. Small additional commitments, such as writing a monthly column (more about that anon), start to loom and oppress.

So the only way I know to stop Not Having Enough Time is to stop playing by its rules. To deliberately squander some time. To stop trying to do more, and deliberately do less. I'm not writing a poem right now. I'm not writing a column. I'm not writing something inspiring and spiritual. I'm wasting my time, and yours, quite intentionally. This is proof: we have time to kick back and chat at Tosi's. The rest of the world will get by somehow without us.

Such lovely advice I got in comments about the 18th Century, and about music! I listened to the sarabande Jean linked to three times. It's lovely, lonely, poignant. I realized midway through the second time that I've heard cello music all my life and assumed I was listening to a string quartet: I had no idea one instrument could make all those sounds. (More anon, as I follow more of the delicious links given me!)

I think Lucy was right that denigrating the 18th Century thing is an anglophone disorder. I remember being surprised, in taking a history of German literature, to find how rich the 18th Century was and how seriously it was taken. And I note that Lucas (welcome!) refers to a lot of French music and writing. I've come late to an appreciation of France and things French. It's not surprising, I suppose, that we English speakers should revel in our Elizabethans and give short shrift to a century in which German and French music and literature were in their glory.

So what is shrift, I wonder? I guess you could say my aim at the moment is to give ample shrift to all things. To be prodigal in shrift. I'm picturing shrift as a sort of fancy fabric: let's wear long flowing ornate robes of it, slashed and decorated, layered and laced. Let's live gorgeously beshrifted. We have all the time in the world.

No comments: