Around midnight we were awoken by snow removal in the parking lot. The snow had been piled extraordinarily high in one corner of the lot considering what I thought was overall an inconsequential amount of snow this winter. The noise was repetitive and jarring. It was useless pretending the sound could be ignored. I got up and fussed on the computer for about an hour, sipping a coffee. It marked the third night in a row I have arisen from my lair in the middle of the night. Clearly it doesn’t matter a damn, I have nothing else to do. But I attempted to straighten the crook of affairs by rendering to it some definition, some clarity, some revelation of purpose.
Settling upon purpose of any measure in the current vernacular of isolation is a feat of sizeable proportion. It is something I have in any event routinely undertaken, certainly not just in this or any other especial circumstance. It is a life-long passion, straightening things out, putting them in order. It’s the performance of tabulating, setting up the pieces in an order that, if not especially meaningful, has at least the mien of conformity and utility – or maybe just a devotion to things that matter.
There are unquestionably things that matter to me. I believe I know exactly what those things are, not because I’ve any dynamic insight into myself or anything else, it’s just as instinctive to me as my appetite for peanut butter and toast, and just as mundane. But it helps to know what matters to one; it enables the pursuit of that clarity I mentioned. Whether the puzzle is 1000 pieces more or less is not particularly notable or important. What matters is putting the pieces together, laying out the full picture to get a better assessment of the whole, undisguised by annoying similarity and lack of conjunction. And importantly to ascribe to the erstwhile confusion the dominion of result, not necessarily achievement, rather consequence. There are things which do nothing other than exist, excellent in their own cause without other purpose. Art springs to mind, that unreal but commanding production. And there are many artistic things, beautiful things, ideal things which may or may not serve any use, a Mont Blanc key chain in a drawer, a plastic cow on a shelf, a sterling silver waif.
I have sought to surround myself with treasures, things which stimulate my senses, paintings properly aligned on the walls at eye-level; amusing collections, some as common as thrift store roses of surprising production. Clocks that work. Even booze that is seldom drunk but whose colour is rich and deep like velvet.