Sunday, May 29, 2011

The start of the beginning?

May 29th is a special day for me - it is my wife Marianne's birthday, so I like to have this day to myself.  I'm a little protective of this day.  I try to wrap it up in my arms and hold it tight all day, and maybe in that way it will be a little different and last a bit longer.  Ever since I lost Marianne, I make this day a quiet day.  Now that's not the same as "still"  - not parsing anything here but merely drawing a distinction.

Quiet involves saving the day for myself - no outside interruptions.  I practiced my yoga on the terrace before I ventured out to the local market - nice, peaceful practice, but not yet still.  I should have taken my dictionary with me to the market but I was pretty sure what I wanted.  So now I know what the Spanish word "medio" means.  Jumping to conclusions in the heat of the moment I ordered a "pollo medio", pretty sure I was getting a medium sized chicken.  I was a little surprised when I opened the package at home:  now I will remember that "medio" means half not medium.  I made up the difference in bread.

The days seem to slow down out here.  But there are no real markers to remind one of the day's passage. It can slide from morning into afternoon with very little warning.  And the the afternoon is so long - it hardly becomes evening until so late - we have light until 9:30 pm.  Of course it's almost June so the days are approaching their longest, but that always seems to be a surprise. Then, before you are ready for the change, they start getting shorter again and one has to fight the urge to countdown to Christmas.  Someone should mention this on the news, like a sort of public service announcement, and then I can be prepared for the days to start getting shorter instead of feeling slightly jipped when it happens, without warning.

As the afternoon slides by, so does one day slide imperceptibly into another, and very soon I will be two weeks into this new life without really having got started yet.  So I have done a little weeding, checked the pool water for Pl or Ch or something like that, hung out the washing and brought it back in again a few times.  There have been things happening, but nothing yet that I can point to and say "that's moved me forwards" - so I've started.  I think I'm just getting ready to begin.

So with apologies to Churchill, this is not yet the beginning;  it's not even the start of the beginning;  but it's kind of like the beginning of the start to get ready to begin ...  this new life.  I've got a couple of more things to get done - maybe this week, or maybe next - and then I should be ready to think about starting.  That seems pretty straight now.  Now where did I put that bottle of Rioja...  that's a full bottle not a bloody medio.

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