Monday, October 31, 2016
October 31, 2016
Torrid, or at least sultry, students in class in t-shirts and shorts. I was given by them the option of wearing a Halloween costume or bring treats, so baked uncounted dozens of pumpkin-based cookies.
A’s birthday part at Biltmore Village Friday night. Ate too much and too late and was up until 4 AM watching movies on the cable. Seemed, however, not otherwise to throw my day off. Woke at the same time fully rested.
Saturday I painted and painted, and felt well in soul, except my body was stiff from standing in basically one position on cold concrete for several hours. Visitors from six or seven states. After painting, though, a strange sadness, which clung to me through church and rehearsal on Sunday. Sadness made mostly of loneliness. Will I spend whatever years are left to me alone? Am I alone now, or any more so than anyone else my age whose friends are passing and whose nest is empty? I do not know the things I do not know. Then I had to prepare for class, and the sadness went on the back burner –another argument for not retiring in haste.
Planted one last trailing tree peony that arrived from Ohio. I think they must be all done now. The soil was hot as I dropped my hand into it, except at the very bottom, where there was a saucer of cool. Winter rising up from below.
J said rather auspiciously that she had called me unsuccessfully on behalf of the vestry, and that she would try again yesterday afternoon. She left me to speculate what the call was about–maybe some special thing they wanted me to do; maybe they wanted me to consider running for vestry. Turns out, I was being scolded for not turning in my pledge card. I was in Hungary on Pledge Sunday, and it got lost under a pile of paperwork. But I note that fact that in all my 28 years at All Souls, through trouble and triumph and illness and bereavement, I have received exactly two calls, and both of them were about my pledge.
The most amazing thing: I stood in the sun after planting the peony, staring into my violated pond. My nerves gave a start before I knew why. There swimming merrily were Lao Tsu and Kung Fu Tzu and Sumer, three of the host I had thought gobbled by a heron. I knew them. They were not replacements. I have stood gazing in to those waters LITERALLY for hours, hoping for some sign of my lost friends. The water is clear. You can see to the bottom. There are some places to hide but not many. I swear to God they were not there, but they must not have been, for here they are again. Are they all there, and as the days go by I will see them? I expect elation in the moments to come, but right now what I feel is weirdness. Will that be the general rule of things, that what I thought was lost was not, and I should just keep my mouth shut and wait? That would make it all right– the whole “life” thing, I mean.
Edging toward evening and my playwrights.