What a wonderful morning. What a wonderful moment - I am sitting at my computer facing north. I have a view of the beautiful old cedar in Carter's yard, several great oaks, other evergreens, bushes that attract birds. It's like having a new study. And all without the terrible anxiety of moving, of someone else having your prized things in their truck. In moving, you are for the moment homeless. I myself feel that keenly.
Back story: a week ago I decided I didn't want to put up anymore with the problem of facing west when I was at my computer. Most afternoons it was too bright to work, unless you pulled down an obstreperous room-darkening blind, which created an unpleasant atmosphere, and didn't want to go back up - yes, a roller blind that came with the house.
As I stood in my study doorway considering the problem, a simple answer struck me - move my project table under the west window, and my computer under the north window. I know that even now there are people chuckling at the idea that this would be simple, what with a PC and two printers, one of which is hooked up to a fax. I think we're dinosaurs in this respect - we don't use laptops. Tom doesn't like the idea of carrying a computer - you might drop it.
We go back a ways with all this. He got our first PC when they came out, around 1981 was it? He couldn't resist. He loves this stuff, and if he could fill my study with a mainframe, he just might. As it is, a regular PC seems huge compared to my friends' slim pretty laptops. Separate system unit, separate ergonomic keyboard, separate speakers and monitor, all those wires. We did streamline the mouse recently, went to wireless. I know one thing we get for this is that Tom can tear things apart, install more memory, things like that, and we never have to spend a lot on computers at any one time.
This morning our lovely friend Greg came over to help with our List: the weird miscellany of things that need done around the house, the little things that eventually drive old people to move to a retirement village if they don't have a handy child or friend like Greg. Getting ready for the move, I cleared away the detritus of my creativity - a quartz half-sphere, the Shaker boxes that hold shells and rocks, the stuffed ferret - and they sprang into action. I wisely left the room (you do learn some things with age). In no time, Tom called me: there it was, my PC was booting up.
It was hard being without it for that half hour, though, at my own most creative hour of the day. Ideas for the blog kept floating into my mind as I folded dishtowels - there's a subject, folding dishtowels. Thinking about it fanned out like a cloud to Aunt Doris, who sent her nieces and nephews each a linen calendar towel at Christmas. Even the one from 1984 is still perfectly good, though I don't know where a lot of missing years are. I also remembered Aunt Evelyn, who by example taught me how to do the most menial household task with care. When you fold dishtowels or socks, you keep scissors at hand to cut loose threads.
My angst at missing the opportunity to write about these women, who have departed, and about many other things connected to dishtowels, like how I resented it my health meant I had to stop ironing them . . . I recognized that forlorn feeling. It comes over me when I arrive at retreat empty-handed. No laptop. I might take a yellow pad and two pens, but at a Zen retreat you're not supposed to write. Doing that in free time is breaking a contract that may or may not be spoken. Now I have a little netbook, which would really be easy to sneak in, but will I?
Ah yes, this morning I missed the moment to write in depth about that. But here I am, back in my Zen tree house, hooked up again, facing that even north light. Everything just as it ought to be.