Monday, July 23, 2007

My crazy life

I'm tired. Really tired. Once again I've committed myself to help with causes instead of taking care of myself. It always seems like such a trivial commitment when I make it, and then it balloons into a soul-stealing obligation that hangs over my head while I put off one wretched chore after another in order to take care of some previous foolish obligation I've undertaken.

Is there a volunteers anonymous?

Yesterday we had 2 couples over for dinner. I don't often get my act together to entertain others in the usually hazardous environment of my household. It entails a full toxic waste cleanup and massive movement of piles of papers. But this effort is necessary from time to time and what better excuse than a dinner party?

Unfortunately, this time I was blindsided by an unexpected obligation the day before the dinner--the time I had set aside to do the cleanup--and so I did most of it, plus the menu for the dinner, on the actual day of the event. This was also the day that Steve did a gig with Will Williams in the town plaza, and I really wanted to see it. So I stole a half hour of time that I really didn't have, then ended up not really having time to clean up, prepare dinner and be calm and composed before the guests arrived. The papers hurriedly went into boxes in the bedroom, and await further action on my part or the possibility of succumbing to the temptation to just forget about them.

In the course of cleaning up I realized that the disorder in my house, and my life, had gotten really out of hand. I want to change this! For once in my life, I'd like to be neat, orderly and organized, even if for only a short time, so I can experience this phenomenon that is so natural for most people. I want to see tranquility and order when I look around my bedroom, my kitchen, my back yard, my garden, my front porch for chrissakes, where the remains of a solar cooking workshop still await the decision about where on earth to store them.

It seems like I've spent most of my life with the notion that once I get organized, life can begin. Can you imagine anything less Zen-like? I'm getting kind of long in the tooth for this approach.

I told Steve I wanted a vacation, but the fact is, it ain't no vacation if you just run away from your obligations and have to come back to them.

Speaking of Steve, he's perfectly happy to live in total chaos, and in his own house even migrated from his back bedroom to the front bedroom to his living room as the available space filled up with stuff. "Stuff" is like some kind of fungus, a slime mold that spreads to take over any environment it can get a foothold in. Like kudzu in the South.

He's in the process of doing it here, and I kind of put the brakes on the stuff that had spilled from his room into the living room when I cleaned up. That is, I put the stuff he'd distributed on the living room bookshelves and furniture into a box that I moved into the last available square foot of space in his room.

He was nice about it, but I know he wasn't too happy. I kind of have the right to set the boundaries in my own house, but the difference between is one of distressingly small degree. Maybe it would have been better if one of us was rigidly neat and could keep the other in line.

Oh, the dinner party? Everyone had a great time, despite the ill-prepared meal and the mess on the porch. Everyone was polite about the lukewarm chicken and the gazpacho that turned gray in the blender. There were enough musical instruments to keep all entertained after dinner. It only ended because one of them had to get up at 4 am to photograph a hot-air balloon event. This is Northern California after all.

Postscript: Steve has returned with chocolate ice cream brighten my outlook.


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