Thursday, January 30, 2014

Another Prufrockian Week of Visions and Revisions

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post which described my week as Prufrockian.  I quoted this piece of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock":

"Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea."

It's been another week that's left me feeling a bit whiplashed, as situations changed and then changed again.

My brother-in-law has been living in our guest room since mid-December as he relocates to Homestead, FL, an hour south of us.  He settled into his new job quickly, but finding a house has been more of a time-consuming challenge.  Earlier in the week, it was looking like yet another house had fallen through, but yesterday, he signed papers and left money.  Today he should get keys and then he'll head back to Memphis to move the family and close on the house sale there.  I'm hoping there will be no reversals for him.

For me, the main whiplashing event was the drama of our reservations at Mepkin Abbey.  I made reservations back in September, when their online reservation system was new.  I double-checked on Monday, only to find that it seemed that the monks were expecting us back in September.  Yikes.

I panicked a bit and cried a bit and finally calmed down enough to call.  The very kind monk said he didn't see our reservations, but he would do some checking and call me back if they had room.  And he called back, and my mood went from despair to joy.

I'm still not trusting their system.  When I first went on to check, it said that this week-end's date had 5 people on the waiting list, and then an hour later, it told me one space was available.  That's when I decided to call.  I'm so glad that I did.  But it all made me feel a bit whipsawed.

It's the kind of week at work where we waited for the delivery of our paper.  We were down to just a few reams in the whole building.  But there was plenty of paper across the street, but no one to bring it over.  At one point, I got so tired of the drama that I borrowed one of those folding carts designed to haul files from place to place and went across the street on foot.

Why didn't I drive?  No parking places across the street.  As I was walking with my precarious cart, I said a prayer:  "Please, God, don't let me die as I try to get this rickety cart across this busy Ft. Lauderdale street.  Please don't let me be hit by one of these tourists that bring so much money to our region."

Once the paper was delivered, someone said to me, "So you really didn't have to do that.  There's still the paper that you brought over."  I decided not to reply, but if I had, I'd have pointed out that I brought over 14 reams of paper, and only 6 remained.  So, it was not a completely fruitless effort.

What I really wanted to say, "Hey, I got an advanced degree, several of them.  Not everyone can do this work."  But that would have sounded snarky and critical, and I'm trying to be a better human than that.

So, tomorrow, I head north to Mepkin Abbey.  I'm driving through a region that experienced snow, or the threat of snow--and yet, temperatures this week-end will be quite moderate, with highs in the 60's--weather whiplash!

I will drive by myself and enjoy the solitude.  It's been a month of more humans than I'm used to, what with my brother-in-law in the guest room of our 2 bedroom house, and a colleague using the once-vacant office beside me.

I will get writing done:  a new book-length manuscript of poems and a progress check on my memoir.  And when I return, I'd like to write more poems each week.

I'd also like to eat more veggies.  The monks always inspire me.

I will settle into the monastic rhythms and let them re-set my own.

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