Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Paddling through the marsh - the draff and dross of my day

The remnants of my day reflect the moderately peculiar crusades undertaken. This isn't to say I did anything especially grave. The adventures lacked both purpose and ambition - heralded in part by my uncommonly late arising at precisely ten o'clock this morning when I could no longer endure the embarrassment of inactivity. I did however rejoice in the unusual vernacular. Its whimsical nature inspired playfulness - even a forbearing sense of entitlement. I mustn't take credit for the relaxation.  It was motivated by the exigencies of my ophthalmologist on the heels of  lens replacement in the right eye. The surgery is a refined alteration I haven’t the wish to disturb. Bicycling is right out. Lethargy is preferred.

Wearing a makeshift monocle - from which I haphazardly compared the improvement of the naked right eye to the prescriptive left - I sailed in my open windowed vehicle along the Appleton Side Road.  The road was newly paved and soothing. The emerald coloured corn stalks wavered in the fields. Once again I contemplated a lingering personal conflict, dismissing it from the one perspective as merely the woe of the other - yet stinging the result as a callous calculation. Seldom do the sources of discord have anything to do with oneself. We are more often a chance casualty along the way. Yet the champion of reason is at times the acceptance of failure. I asked myself for whose benefit was it to reunite? What was the reality of the future? Could I adopt the cultured embrace of what was at one time agreeable? Or would I grind away to prove the wrong?

As the road curved so too did my thoughts. While the private commotions peg away, the public political conflicts likewise continue. It is a huge expectation we so readily bestow upon our elected officials. When exactly did they resign themselves to the unfettered forgiveness of a spiritual advisor? When did they abandon want for need? When did they rise above the allure of righteousness at any cost? To think I once had the vanity to presume to run for public office! A backroom model is far more scientific, less visceral.

On the highway from Carleton Place to Stittsville the traffic assumed its customary violence of passage, the pointless competition for first place in the passing lane between unattractive contestants. My design was demonstrably without imperative - the indisputable reward of age, that magic feeling, nothing to do, nowhere to go. I nonetheless strengthen the ambivalence by adopting a commitment to restraint. Gone is the booze. Gone are the cigarettes and cigars.  The bodily pleasures are confined to the repercussions of drugs and the evacuation of my bowels. I have almost succeeded to surmount the psychological stimulation of bread and Nanaimo bars.  Everything is about reduction and purification. Clarity is at once demanding and relieving.

How To Get On In Society by John Betjeman
Phone for the fish knives, Norman
As cook is a little unnerved;
You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
And I must have things daintily served.

Are the requisites all in the toilet?
The frills round the cutlets can wait
Till the girl has replenished the cruets
And switched on the logs in the grate.

It's ever so close in the lounge dear,
But the vestibule's comfy for tea
And Howard is riding on horseback
So do come and take some with me

Now here is a fork for your pastries
And do use the couch for your feet;
I know that I wanted to ask you-
Is trifle sufficient for sweet?

Milk and then just as it comes dear?
I'm afraid the preserve's full of stones;
Beg pardon, I'm soiling the doileys
With afternoon tea-cakes and scones.

No comments:

Post a Comment