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Grey Areas: The Great Northwest Hunkering Down

If there were a day not to go outside, this would be it. It’s the kind of that gives those in the Northwest an excuse to hibernate. But go outside I did, out of necessity.

greyareasThe first task was a leap larger than my small stature really allows for, across the newly created river where there once was a curb. Within days the remaining leaves, spanning a good four or five feet from curb towards the middle of the street, will look and feel like brownie mix.

Sudden and random sweeping gusts on an otherwise mild day sneak up and render umbrellas comedic and useless. Sorry to the person I laughed at who was thrown up against the side of a building and whose umbrella looked like Marilyn Monroe’s upturned white dress. You see, the same thing happened to me just yesterday. Later a friend complimented me on my hair asking what I’d done to it. “Hair by God,” I replied.

Many say control is illusory. And so, I’ve given over to seasonality not just in the form of squash over tomatoes but in allowing the ending of election season to mark time. It is perhaps the gross amount of time I allowed election goings-on to sieze me that its ending doesn’t so much leave a void but reminds me that I have dining room chairs to be re-caned. I won’t say how long they’ve been sitting in there untended to and half finished. This is one ill for which Sarah Palin cannot be blamed.


Act 2: next day.

A phone and computer melt down required venturing out into the monsoon once again for various technical aids, causing this post to halt mid-writing. Lo and behold, it’s sunny today and will be for days, so they claim. But we know not to be fooled by the occasional sunny day in November. We’re not suckers.

This time of year brings a necessary turning inside to revisit those bits of oneself that temporarily disappeared amidst the urgency of summer sunshine. It’s like the seasonal equivalent of the thoughtful nerd compared to the partying jock. A retreat inward also means more time spent alone, and if not careful, procrastination might continue. So now you’ve lost both human connection and you’ve squandered time.

On my own list are: finishing those chairs, painting a canvas floor cloth for the kitchen, continuing on my mission to declutter so I’m left with only beautiful or useful things, reading or giving away the growing stack of books I was somehow inspired to buy, and cooking at least one recipe out of the 2000-recipe Italian cookbook someone gave me. This is the short list.

Charged by my now-functioning technological life, I disentangled and unplugged an albatross of an old computer and scanner that, I would like to think, signals an ushering in of wide open space. Not only that of the visible desktop (the analog kind) but the mental space as well. Every time I eliminate a dust-collecting object from my life, it is an opportunity to fill it with something dissimilar, something formless, something that’s been lacking, something soul feeding.

Who am I kidding really? In no time, this freed-up space will contain piles of books and design magazines. Already my Obama action figure and his friend the cell-phone-talking Buddah have migrated there, along with a few other things.

No matter. With new seasons come new opportunities, opportunities I plan to seize. Bring on the rain.

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