I find my days are pleasantly interrupted by monotony or what I might more charitably call a lack of variety. Astonishingly – that is, by historical standards – we’ve continued to bicycle almost every day throughout the winter. The peculiarity is a welcome accommodation of my otherwise limited physical activity. All the more so because with the passing of each day I more willingly succumb to the burgeoning theory that, at my age, I am entitled to abandon any ambition to exercise. Come to think of it, the identical theory now promotes numerous other predilections – or should I say diminutions. As much as I hate to admit it, I am increasingly preoccupied with the eventuality of “going into space” as my dear father used to call it. To that I have added my own moderately relieving quip that, “I’m not saving it for the funeral!” The combination of mortality and Epicureanism seems to me to stabilize what risks becoming a state of either perpetual discontent or conduct unbecoming of a gentleman. I would not be the first who “retired to the country with his book and his bottle“.
In the meantime I devote myself to colourless routine which can be abridged as cycling, breakfast, photography, writing, driving, reading, dinner (itself a prosaic content of raw vegetables and Atlantic salmon) and watching anything on cable TV which excoriates Donald Jennifer Trump. Yesterday I ventured into a forgotten but still familiar world of French language literature. I thankfully avoided the incomprehensibility of Marcel Proust (who can take a full page to complete one sentence) and chose instead the more digestible Anatole France who I find reads somewhat like a children’s book. His purpose is so clearly manifest that even when reading a word I do not know I am able to imagine the intent without becoming horribly confounded.
J’aimais tant la vie, alors! J’avais en elle la belle confiance d’un amoureux, et je ne pensais pas qu’elle pût me devenir sévère, elle qui pourtant est sans pitié.
Anatole France, “Le livre de mon ami.”
Underlying the unremarkable daily performance is a constant assessment of matters henceforward. Unabashedly I confess my hope to return – as we had planned to do last October – to Key Largo and perch idly overlooking the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This is not to say we have not appreciated our sojourn this year in Canada but as I say time is running out and I’d prefer to accomplish several more visits to white sandy shores before relenting to other predictable requisites. It is nonetheless a sticky situation and one which presently has no chance of unraveling. Certainly I can think of more harmful imprisonment than what we currently endure. Yet the aspiration exists. My less than Stoic engagement has in the interim afforded me the pleasure of palpable diversion. Like a magpie I am so easily amused; and I gleefully appease my secretive magpie instinct.
With these as yet anticipated eventualities I blend my present circumstances. Everything is about getting it in its “apple pie order“, granted a less than admirable project but plainly one which predominates. Among those other things I’ve abandoned is the persecution of my native afflictions whatever they may be. I mean, who am I kidding! I’m not likely to change, at least not for the better. I now content myself to rearrange the present environment; to relish what for me is the unsurpassable fortuity of life; and, the look forward with anticipation!