Life is so friggin' amazing if you ALLOW it to be that I am constantly finding myself flying through the air upside down and backwards and being deposited roughly on my ample tush .....ashamed but awestruck to the core that my Guardian Angel, instead of merely trying to shake some sense into me, did not throw up his hands in disgust at my stupidity and simply point his magic destructo-finger at me and reduce me to a large grease spot on the driveway. And, as I sit there, ruefully rubbing my dented derriere, wondering what unworldly force hit me and why, a glimmer of light flickers in the dimness of my brain and I hear myself (or some wiser self) saying, "Dammit, old girl, didn't you learn that same lesson last week? (last month?, last year? last lifetime?). How could you have forgotten such an important epiphany?" I fear that my trouble is not one of memory but simply a breakdown of faith....in who or what I am not quite sure.
Now, those of you who know me or have come to know me (in the most decent sense of the word) by way of my bloggy confessions and ravings know that I am not talking here about any kind of organized religious
faith ....being that I consider all rigidly structured religions a misinterpretation and total distortion of a few once possibly valid ideas and an unfortunate and criminal abuse of power. However, I do believe in a number of the good ideas randomly scattered through the world's accepted religions and consider myself a decent and a spiritual human being in spite of my unorthodox principles and cockamamie beliefs. And, I definitely believe in what is being referred to these days as a 'Higher Power'.....a power greater than myself that is the source of......well everything........and one that we can tap into if we have faith and the right attitude.
That being said,.......now where in the hell was I going with this? ...........ah, yes......my shortcomings in failing to maintain my faith that things can come out right despite errors in judgment.......well, you know, even Pollyanna Stearns cannot always get enough distance and objectivity on a particular pile of shit to be able to intuit that there is probably some nugget of value buried within the steaming mound. And so it was that, several weeks ago I brought near disaster upon myself by accidentally opening an ad in my spam mail.
Now, you must understand that when I moved from my 1 bedroom apartment to this little house in 1972 I had just barely enough of anything.. It wasn't hard to place the pieces I had and to decide what I needed to build to make everything work and I proceeded to do just that, and it was Good. As the years drifted by I probably purchased one or two things like an IKEA bookcase and a Mexican china cabinet to display and protect the gazillions of ceramic plates that I collected during my trips around the world. Mostly, I had plenty of furniture (how many chairs can one person's fanny occupy at one time?) and if I needed something I either scavenged or built it, but that all stopped many years ago when my house began to bulge from being overfed and I honored the danger signs. In the past 15 or 20 years I have not added anything major nor have I rearranged one damned piece of furniture........why should I....everything was fine where it was.
Of course, during those years I must confess that I did buy one or two new essential things......garments such as bras, panties and tee shirts and, due to my near fatal case of pack-rattedness I must also confess (in an unintelligible mumble, with downcast eyes and toes scuffing dejectedly at the corner of the rug) that I was never able to go through and discard the shamefully shabby and generally unwearable.....no, things just got crammed into drawers with eyes squeezed shut (to avoid having to make any decisions or glimpse of bras size 34 B that I will obviously never fit into again......gawd, did I really EVER fit into those.....?.....sigh) and once the drawer still closed everything was OK. Denial and Sloth prevailed and it was Good.
Recently some ominous signs began to appear when said drawers made occasional cracking noises and were threatening to burst forth from their moorings and spew their contents of unmentionables across the bedroom, down the hall and beyond. I realized I had to face the fact that I must either cull the junk (cold sweat appearing on forehead here and severe hand tremors beginning) or purchase a new unit.
So, wouldn't you know, that would be the very day that I happened to accidentally open a piece of spam-mail and viewed a monster sale item, a chest of drawers so lovely, appealing and delicious (and soch a bargain) that I could barely avert my gaze before fainting with love .......... I found myself in a Dr. Strangelove kind of wrestling match as my right forefinger strained toward the Buy button and my left hand clamped rigidly around the right wrist to prevent that abomination from happening. Believe it or not, I held out for about 10 hours before remembering that it was a one day special and caved in to the impulsive, impractical, screaming - I want- I want- Terror-Tot (who, I must admit, still occupies a small room in the attic), without considering the consequences.....oy, the grim, fateful consequences.........like, for instance, WHERE in the hell are you going to put the damned thing?
Over the next week I gave serious thought to the "where" problem all the while kicking myself in the behind for my foolishness because it became obvious that, no matter where I decided to put it, the project would require moving about 3/4 of all the furniture and chatchkes in my house,. Finally decided in despair that I would simply put it up for sale on Craig's List and write on the blackboard 100 times, "Lois is a big, fat idiot".
But when it arrived I simply had to see what it looked like......I mean I may be a total idiot but I am not IronWoman. Big Mistake. One look and I fell irrevocably in love and HAD to have it ...... Aaarrrggghhh.
Since that moment my life and my home have been turned upside down. There were 2 possible locations for the new chest but it was obvious that every bookcase,cabinet, chest of drawers and object thereon and therein not only had to be moved but emptied first ......too heavy to move full. This once peaceful abode looked like 6 tornados had hit it (and much of it still looks that way)....... after one attempt to set things up in the bedroom looked simply awful, everything had to be moved again but on the 2nd try in the living room I finally found the right place for it and was able to chose the perfect 3 items from my vast packrat collection to grace the top of it. I have also, to my amazement, found a painting of my ex-partner's in the garage that I have been trying for years to find a place for that complements the chest perfectly and have found that my handblown 4 foot tall Mexican glass vase containing dried artichoke stalks sits beside it like it was meant to be there all along.
Somehow,through bleary eyes, I discovered a place for the cabinet that used to occupy the wall now devoted to the chest, have managed to relocate thousands of objects and stuff that had to be removed frim same in order to be able to move it and have, wonder of wonders......been able to shred hundreds of bank statements dating back to 1995 (found on the bottom shelf) without a pang of conscience and with some glee. Of course, I could never have managed all of this without the help of Mickey, my wonderful caregiver......he is great at helping move things and doesn't mind spending 4 days shredding.
Meanwhile, 4 chests and 2 bookcases have been rearranged in my bedroom in a very pleasant and convenient arrangement. (made possible by having had to move all the furniture in there for attempt #1). Gazillions of books, objects and indescribable stuff still needs to find a home, but little by little we are getting there and the whole effort has been not only exhausting but exhilarating and awesome. I foresee that is will take me at least 10 years to complete the effort meaning I must stay alive at least till I get it all done, thereby preserving my life for quite a while.
One of the many other fringe benefits which have come out of this is that I now have a music system installed in my living room that is connected and operational and I can now listen to some of my wonderful collection in comfort and ease. (Have been unable to do that for 10 or 15 years due to having both my music systems stacked and stored in a corner of my office because it would have required moving too much furniture to set them up where they belonged. Yesterday I gingerly put on one of my favorites, Beethoven's Violin Concerto #5, and literally wept for joy upon hearing it again after so many years of being able to listen to it only inside my head. Followed this with Nat King Cole's Trio and cried some more. The cats looked at me like I was crazy but what do I care for their opinions their judgment is often more faulty than mine.
I have already made headway clearing debris from one set of drawers in the bedroom and I believe I will be able to continue. Till now I have been unable to make myself do this despite 20 years of trying so it turns out that my foolish and impulsive idiocy could actually be viewed as an inspired act that generated a string of miracles and has already improved my life immeasurably.
Anyway, no need to continue......I think you get the picture..... Only thing is.....had I but known what would be involved besides faith.....oy.....cough, gasp, pant, groan......well, at least I think you can tell that my broken hip has mended fairly well................
........as for my ongoing general insanity..........I fear there is no cure and little hope in that direction.
The New Yorker covers: July 7 & 13, 2008
8 hours ago