Winter this year hasn’t been too severe. I wouldn’t mind if it were, because I love this season. It’s nice to be living in a place that experiences the four seasons.
Life has settled to a continuous hum. I have my work, teaching two classes that I love, and I look forward to the opportunity to eventually add more teaching hours. I have my daily writing practice, in which I rotate my various fountain pens and inks in filling page after page with the best handwriting that I can produce. It’s not exactly a journal, but a form of meditative practice that leaves me feeling incredibly content. It’s the physical act, the movement of writing instrument across paper, that’s captivated me since childhood.
I’ve just finish a book by Anne Fadiman on the joys of reading, book collecting, and yes, becoming attached to writing instruments. In her case, it was a special 1940s Parker 51 pen given to her by a classmate at age 15, who had evidently stolen it from his father. The pen eventually was lost, and no instrument, even a duplicate pen of the same vintage, ever wrote as well or made her as happy as the original. I can understand that sense of irretrievable loss.
I’m currently deep into James Joyce’s Ulysses. It’s one of the items on my personal bucket list. This is the year in which I’ll turn 65, and my thoughts naturally turn to my own mortality; for goodness’ sake, I’ll qualify for Medicare in a few months. Other items on this list, in no order of importance, include: trekking in the Himalaya, circumnavigating the globe, attending a wild sex orgy, and parachuting from an airplane (once). I’d also like to become really good at something; abilities such as playing the guitar, calligraphy, or becoming fluent in French come to mind. I secretly envied other kids while I was growing up who developed talents and did something really well. I never managed to develop a real proficiency at anything, except perhaps for academic writing (so guess what I teach now – academic writing). I felt inferior. Add to bucket list: no feeling of inferiority!
A relaxing evening draws to a close, and it’s time to put myself to bed with my current murder mystery (Ulysses is not bedtime reading). Perhaps this year I’ll be better at updating my blog, but that’s not a promise, since it’s not on the bucket list.