Saturday, May 4, 2019

Saturday Reward

Last evening I made up my mind that I would go bicycling today.  It had been a week since my last venture on two wheels, an interference prompted primarily by my dental surgeon and complemented by the foul weather. The entire week had been devoted to an alteration of my habits, including my customary nourishment. Instead of steel cut oats for breakfast and raw vegetables for dinner, I had eaten whatever approached mush. The perversion came to a halt this morning. Reinvigorated by crisp, green apple slices and porridge with California raisins, I was poised for a favourable bike ride. Nor was I disappointed. The weather cooperated as well, still cool but dry.

We resolved at the outset to pursue la route précise which entailed winding our way through the subdivision to Country Street then crossing the Mississippi River at Bridge Street and streaming to the southern boundary of the Town where it meets the northern boundary of Ramsay Township, nicely putting us into the tranquil countryside before turning back and regaining our residence. It felt good to be getting some exercise and inhaling the fresh air. Whether it was that exhilaration or the pain killers that kicked in I do not know for certain, but in either case I had arisen to a new level of ebullience. Suddenly I felt compelled to address the well being of those whom I know, a distraction which I confess is normally succeeded by a shameless preoccupation with my personal state of affairs. Such apparently is the abolition of pain, a clinical evaporation of selfishness. Whatever the reason I had an undeniable and heightened level of concern for the condition of others - albeit a focussed interest directed to those whom I fashion analytically stimulating. My altruism did not extend to those for whom my favour might be misinterpreted. The core of the society still depended upon reciprocity, either expected or predicted.

Meanwhile I enlarged my private euphoria to revisit my personal agenda. For whatever reason I got stuck upon whether a metal seal given me by my mother over 50 years ago still survived. The device - which I believe was modelled by Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) in Stockholm, Sweden - was a solid pewter owl, the base of which was cast brass engraved with the initials of my full name. The recollection haunted me the entire time of my bicycle ride.  Upon returning home the first thing I did was locate it upon my mahogany desk, in the top drawer of which I also located the red sealing wax formerly used with the seal. It is not likely I shall ever use the seal again for its intended purpose.  It is however importantly one of few things which remain from our downsizing scourge five years ago when we remorselessly abandoned whatever didn't go in the dishwasher.

Materialism at almost any level is a deceit.  Nonetheless the deception - like religion and politics - continues to maintain its sway. Not the least of these enactments is for me Saturday, the day which enjoys unequivocal leisure without either the residue of Friday or the sobering anticipation of Monday. I relate Saturday to materiality because it afforded me the opportunity to relish the things for which I had ostensibly worked so hard to acquire.  Historically the regard was associated with a frozen martini, a Jane Austen book and the unblemished digestion of what surrounded me. I had embellished this late afternoon indulgence by shopping for some groceries - the refinements such as carbonated water, non-dairy butter and fresh bread. It expiated my guilt of indolence to do something akin to obligation.

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