Shortly after two o’clock this morning I relented to my toxic mental agitation.  Grasping my iPhone on the bedside table I silently withdrew to the drawing room, smalls and hoodie in hand, charily closing the bedroom door behind me. The midnight exit thus stealthily accomplished I next dressed myself in the sparse wardrobe, turned on the overhead light at table then commenced the exposition of what had so consumed me for the previous several hours, having monotonously heard the chimes of the Sligh grandfather clock every hour after eleven o’clock.

It is the privilege of the elderly to dither between performance and indolence at any hour of the day or night.  I might for example resort with prize abandon to the green leather couch where I prolong myself beneath an ancient throw for an hour or so in the middle of the afternoon. Such frightful disregard for duty! If the weather were less inclement I may on occasion steal into the garage and ignite the Aviator for silent passage into the dark blue night.  But today the conditions were wintry; and – more urgently – I had on my mind a baggage of ideas collected quite unintentionally but manifestly grippingly over the past several weeks.  This pressing commotion of thought I intended to address head on. My goal was to quell the boiling froth within. I confess as well that I may have been enthused – again quite unknowingly – by the elevation of contemplation and emotion which commonly attends this spicy time of year.

By exquisitely odd coincidence today I have spoken with three different friends, each of whom I have known for about 40 years (50 years for two of them).  One was in Vancouver; another in Halifax; the third, here in Almonte. In each instance we had a heartfelt conversation, cheerfully reminiscing, laughing, exchanging seasonal expressions and generally reviving long forgotten stories and in some cases certain nasty but uproarious precision. I credit the fortuity to the unaccountable euphoria I have fancied from the moment of my early morning arising. I am spurred in my ecstasy by Mr. Apple’s algorithmic choice of music (currently an exotic piano concerto composed by Prokofiev). And yet I am bound to confess that preserving our distance has not been a deprivation.  I am so completely devoted to the taradiddle of my own creation; and so anxious not to omit a detail of the current gravity. It is for the moment at least an improvement of my attempt yesterday to play something of consequence on my Korg electronic piano – a project which was regrettably and quite unexpected defeated to my lingering surprise. I had trouble remembering Bach’s tiny Bourée.  I’ve repeated the composition one thousand times before.  Perhaps the disintegration is no more momentary than my other intermittent lapses of memory.  I overlooked recording as well that I and my three long-standing friends willingly acknowledged our common descent to dotage, exemplified naturally by a variety of drugs and similar afflictions like arthritis, neuropathy and spinal compression. What pleasure and odd rejuvenation it is to discover my incremental collapse is not singular! By yet another serendipity I received an email this morning from my neuropathy physician in which he quite succinctly proclaimed the inevitability of my condition and its sole manageability with drugs of one strength or another!

We four are like uncertain sailors clutching the side of a departing vessel upon a vast sea which is as yet within our view but which threatens to loose its mooring with or without us. Life has become a perpetual reminder of its delicacy and feathery acquaintance.

Our housekeeper visited today.  In accordance with our tradition we removed ourselves to allow her to complete her tasks without obstruction. The reward for our imposed though blithe withdrawal – and for today’s commitment to purpose and season – was for me a small double-layer carrot cake and six chocolate peanut bars! The Sacrament of Heaven! And this evening we shall dine upon a homemade Vietnamese Pho complete with fresh lime, bean sprouts and shrimp!