I realized this morning that I don't have anything that I have to do today, no chores, no pressing projects that I have to get a move on, nothing, and I really feel adrift. That's crazy--and a bit sad. Never fear, I'll fill the day with all sorts of stuff once I get over this feeling of standing at the edge of an abyss. I have to go pick up an Rx (aha! a chore!) and get some lunchmeat; then I can eat out on the patio (now that the suffocating heat and humidity have moved off to the east). I could knit out there once I raise the umbrella too. It'd be hard to sew out there. I'd have to drag a sewing machine upstairs, the iron and board too, and figure out someplace to cut... too much work. Remember the days when we just lay out in the sun? Could you do that today? Just lie on a quilt or in a chair in the beating down sun, smeared with a combo of baby oil and iodine (were we suicidal? no, just ignorant), sipping iced tea or lemonade or Cokes, maybe flipping through a magazine, all afternoon. I couldn't. I'd be so antsy and bored (bored with a capital B), I couldn't stand it. Even if I had a riveting book on my iPod that I had screwed into my ears to listen to (I love having someone read me a story while I do something else) I don't think I could just sit there and roast myself, not only because it's so very bad for you (skin cancer, anyone?), but because I need to be DOING something, making some headway, exercising my brain with a puzzle or a project. Hmm, maybe if I had a crossword puzzle book... I think I'll try that later, sit out there (not in the direct sun) with a big glass of ice water (my favorite beverage) and do crosswords. Just that. No multitasking, no audiobook (but maybe music, music would be okay, don't you think?), just a single amusement in a hospitable spot. I wonder how long I can sit still? Then I could get my bike down, pump up the tires, and go ride on the trail tomorrow. That'd be good. Just a little ride to oil up my knees. Or I could do that on Sunday since my dive buddies are out of town this weekend. I'll figure it out. One day and one challenge at a time. Today, I sit still... for how long? An hour, you think? Yeah, I'll shoot for that as a minimum. For today's Photo A Day theme, which is "from a high angle," I went out into the back yard (you understand that I usually do this picture taking at around 7 A.M. so I'm not away from home, especially since I also usually am only wearing a tank top and underpants... that may be TMI, sorry) and stood over things, making a picture looking straight down. I figured out fairly quickly that I needed to point my toes to the sides so I didn't have the tips of my fugly green Crocs in the shots, but I like the pictures. It's an angle I don't usually see things at, being vertically challenged, and it changed things. Try it sometime.
June 22--North German, Aquamanile in the Form of a Dragon. "And the golden dragon swooped down with Joe in his mouth," the boy said. Ten-year old Mark knelt on the rug and swung the brass pitcher in a low arc. He had been stuck at Aunt Susannah's for more than a week with no other kids to play with and no real toys. All Aunt Susannah had was a room on the third floor full of old books and dusty toys. None of the toys needed batteries, they just sat on the shelves and didn't move unless he moved them. He'd poke at a truck or a stuffed bear but nothing did anything. For the first couple days he sat pouting and didn't play. It rained all afternoon on the third day and the flickering light through the rain-washed window panes made it look like the toys were moving. That give him an idea. He got down cars and trucks, stuffed animals and toy people and made his own town. It took him a while to get the hang of making things move, making the people talk, and doing all the sound effects but soon he was immersed in a reality of his own making. After that day his reality spread all over the house, into every room and even indirectly involved Aunt Susannah, Joseph the houseman, Clarice the cook, and any furnishings that struck his fancy, like the brass dragon pitcher in his hand. It was a fine pretense that engrossed Mark and that the adults ignored but they enjoyed it just the same.
I have to say that I worry about kids losing the ability to pretend with all of the amusements these days that essentially play for them, that all they have to do is be a spectator. Who's going to innovate? Who's going to imagine what could be and then tinker? Okay, once I put the photo (photos, photos--I don't seem to stop at just one per post, do I?) on here, I'm going to go out and try not doing anything. Wish me luck.