Sunday, April 29, 2018

It happens...

In precisely ten minutes it will be 5:00 o'clock am and I will have heard the chimes of the Western Germany Sligh grandfather clock every hour since two o'clock this morning.  This is moderately odd since I can't say that as I lay awake in bed shrouded in my sleeping mask I especially noticed the quarterly chimes (Whittington chime if you care to know). But I certainly recall the hourly peals.  Small wonder I finally gave up the charade of sleep and quit the lair to have a cup of tea. This isn't at all unusual for us, having these early morning vacations.

Apart from recapturing the Sunday morning ritual of winding all the clocks (the grandfather, the mantel - also a Sligh - and the Henry Birks & Sons carriage clock which is pointedly also from Germany), I've spent the past three hours amusing myself to revisit what has transpired since our return to Canada from Longboat Key on April 6th.  It has been a succession of visits to doctors, dentists, optometrists and audiologists - including the heart institute and a neurologist, not to mention the blood testing clinics. Oh, and don't forget the accountant and our banker!  Whew!  Small wonder I've lost track of the events of the past three weeks. But as we approach the end of April we are nearer to concluding what we started. There are important matters outstanding but whatever the results it is an inescapable path.

We cannot pretend there is anything onerous about these undertakings. Because we linger in Canada only for six months annually our agenda for normal check-ups (within the public health care system) is proportionately accelerated. And the sooner we're informed of our declension, the better suited we are to address a possible resolution.  Some of the discoveries - while moderately disheartening - are nothing more than traditional products of aging, things like opacity, hearing loss, thyroid ailments, etc.  Others are potentially more worrisome. But in either case the recognition is mere information and it is useless to do anything more than consider it the sole bother of one's physician.  For my part the duty is exhausted once I address the investigation. My time is more usefully employed to indulge myself in whatever it is that makes life pleasant for me. This is not an abuse of the Hedonist philosophy; it's entirely heuristic.  I derive considerable pleasure from clean living - cycling, fresh fruits and vegetables, lack of sweets and wheat.  And as much as I joke about the erstwhile joys of Jane Austen and a frozen martini, I can bear the deprivation.  In the end I suppose it amounts to a choice of preferences only.  A bit of logic helps too - painfully dull though it may at times appear.

Only yesterday I commented to a dear friend that with the passage of time I find more and more I narrow my focus. This is enabling, rather like cleaning out one's closets and drawers.  The variety of youth gives way to the precision of age. The process has the advantage of being discriminating as we discharge the incidents of poor decisions or inferior quality. It also legitimizes what may once have been considered unnecessary luxury.  Like so many other things in life, the rejection of one feature authenticates the adoption of another.  I adore the clinical simplicity of the approach.  It even promotes an abandonment of complication on social levels - more clarity!

Not everyone agrees.  Indeed I acknowledge the elemental persuasion of the proposition is nothing more than advanced age, just as nature eventually teaches us how to die.  For those who haven't yet achieved the insight of evaporation, the goals are different. But it happens...

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