My day started off with its usual promise; warm air on my skin as I stood on the porch to feed the cat; the newspaper delivered on time; a successful hour on the computer, writing my weekly blog.
By ten, I had agreed to meet Penny for coffee in Fairway and hastened to change from the morning’s flannels to something that would not shock Johnson Drive. For an hour, more — maybe two, we talked about her upcoming participation in the Nerman’s benefit auction, the demise of the current location of VALA due to the construction, and the plans for the VALA community which will take her vision to the next level. By 1:30, I had gotten home, nibbled a bit of lunch, and started on the refrigerator.
Cleaning it out, that is.
Two hours later, I retreated to the porch with a glass of ice water and a tattered Ruth Rendell that I found on the dollar table at Mysteryscape last week. The fridge had been successfully cleaned but no further progress on the grime had been made. I found myself spiraling into a blue funk and only words — mine, a friend’s, a deft author’s — can draw me back to center.
When the sun’s descent stole the natural light, I drifted back inside. The house had not finished cleaning itself and the dust fairies seemed oddly absent. I made dinner, wondering whether I could get two loads of laundry done but deciding that I might not get them folded and I’ve always hated that basket of clothes sitting on the cedar chest, staring at me, daring me to iron.
Now evening falls and my mood hovers on empty. I had high hopes for Saturday: Errands to run, the dog to bathe, a writing project that I had planned to begin. What I did, when the day is said and done, was have coffee with Penny, clean out the refrigerator, and read four chapters of an old mystery about a hapless writer and his married lover, and some star-crossed events that plague them.
And so, then, I find myself turning — as I often do — to the words of a real writer, who wrote real poems, and gave voice to precisely what I presently feel.
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
(The best laid schemes of Mice and Men
oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!)
Robert Burns, To a Mouse (Poem, November, 1785)