It’s been an a-ha! kind of weekend. Revealing. Satisfying. And not.
A-ha moment #1... Like someone with a rare disease who finally stumbles upon a name for it, I can finally, belatedly, satisfyingly, explain my current bent for baking, knitting, herb-growing, etc. (Today’s etc being learning, sort of, to prune fruit trees at the Toora Heritage Pear Orchard.) I owe this one to Michael Pollan, whose food ethics titles I’m working my way through, but specifically, to the account of his experience building his own writing studio. With his own hands. Pollan being about as tool-handy and buildery as … well, my 19-year-old arthritic cat. As a writer, Pollan mused, he is invested to his armpits in thoughts and words and purposeless abstraction. Often not even creating new purposeless abstraction, but reconditioning other people’s purposeless abstraction so it better serves its purposeless... purpose (aka editing). So when he needed a work-from-home space, he decided to build it himself. With his own hands. He explained the impulse as a lust for something grounded in reality. Like wood and hammers and chisels and sweat. (Or flour and seeds and wool and pear trees.) To create something with his own hands that he could touch and walk into. (Or eat or wear or grow.)
A-ha. As you can probably guess, after spending years writing and reconditioning purposeless puff that often as not ended up in recycling bins, many bells did ring in my general vicinity.
A-ha moment #2... Yesterday was unbelievably sunny and warm. It registered 22 degrees outside. (About ten more than usual.) I read in the sun all morning. I thawed out. I even took off my socks and rolled up my jeans. Then I went for a walk (after failing miserably for weeks to goad myself into a decent forest tramp). I walked and sang. I felt light inside. What was this strange sensation? Oh dear. Or should I say, a-ha.
You see, for months now I've been denying the significant influence the cold weather is having on me. (But this is my home state!) A little swab of sunshine and I'm able to function without internally bracing. Frolic instead of waddle (it's the 13,001 layers). Smile. I guess this is what a real winter, after six years without one, feels like. So I’ve realised – belatedly, grudgingly – I cannot function in this part of the world in winter. A far less satisfying realisation than the first. And one I must do something about. Grrr. Maybe I'll do my tax first...