Sunday, January 7, 2018

Non-Traditional Creative Saturday

We decided not only not to go to church today, but also to move our family gathering from today to 2 weeks from today.  If we're not going to expose the church to germs, why expose the family?  But more to the point, my spouse had this vision of a feast he wanted to create, and because of his cold, he didn't have the energy to get the food, prepare the food, and so on.

He spent much of yesterday sleeping, which freed up some time.  Ordinarily, we'd be running errands, doing house chores, and/or socializing.  However, because he was napping, I didn't feel like I could do deep work, like writing, because I thought he might wake up at any moment and want to do errands or do something fun or watch a movie.

So I did creative work that could be easily interrupted and then either returned to or abandoned. 

First, I made some epiphany bread, the most creative thing I did all day.  I had some leftover ingredients from December's cookie baking:  all sorts of nuts, dried ginger, and dried lemon and orange slices (how I love Trader Joe's).  I had an idea of the bread I wanted, and it changed as I went along.  At first, I thought I'd have layers of my homemade almond paste, and then I decided to make a pan of rolls:

Those are labor intensive, and so, I also made loaves.  As you can see, I also took photos.  I love the way the sun shines on the rolls, and the green grass in the background.  If I saw this picture in a magazine, I'd want to bake the recipe.

I also made progress on the project I started on Friday night:  to combine the fiction and poetry bookcases and to sort through the poetry volumes.  I got all the poetry volumes sorted into ones to keep, and bags of books to go to the library.  I've gotten a lot of poetry books because they got good reviews or because I wanted to support the poet at a reading.  Some I don't even remember getting.  Some I got on a good sale.  One of our former school librarians moved to Maine and gave me a lot of her poetry books, which I was happy to get at the time, but most of them did not turn out to be important to me.

I was amazed and delighted to find how many I wanted to keep, but even so, I took 5 paper bags of books to the public library.  I handed the first bag to the library worker, and I said, "I've mostly got poetry volumes here." 

He said, "Oh, good."  He was serious, and that made me happy.

I'm not sure what mood has struck me, but I also did some deep cleaning.  I'm not the kind of person who moves the furniture to clean.  I vacuum the pathways where we walk, and I keep the dishes clean, so the house gradually becomes grungier.  And I still rarely move the furniture. 
Yesterday, I moved a lot of the furniture in the bedroom. During one of my spouse's awake times, he oiled the furniture.
I think of how much of our furniture comes from a generation of women who would have moved the furniture much more regularly than I do, and would have oiled the wooden furniture at least once a month.  I remind myself that those women did not work outside the home.  I would have a much different home, if I didn't work for pay, and if I needed to keep a tidy house to prove my existence.
I don't usually think of cleaning as creative work, but it can have some of the satisfactions of a creative pursuit:  creating something new out of what was there before, a satisfaction that comes from doing something with my own hands.
Today I'll finish putting things back, doing a load of laundry with all the old towels I used for cleaning, I'll do a quick vacuum to capture all the dirt I haven't already captured.  In short, I'll get ready for the week to come.
I'm glad I'm not teaching onground this term.  I would not be able to do the kind of talking in the coming week that onground teaching requires.

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