Sunday, December 20, 2009

Marching on

Having married a little later in life, the proverbial “biological clock” is a familiar nemesis. But I never expected this latest development.

You know, I’m in serious contention for the famous award of “She who dies with the most fabric wins.” The clearance shelves at the fabric store are one of my weaknesses. And one of my strengths is a vivid imagination of how nicely a certain piece would work up. Or how many outfits could be created with different components made from a very neutral but distinctive color. Plus, there are always the multitudes of quilts that could be created from the scraps. As a result, I’ve been known to purchase entire bolts of particularly nicely priced materials.

Having already prepared five books of record abstracts for publication, you’d think the thrill of seeing my name on the cover of a book would have passed. But there’s this novel that keeps roaming around in my head, fighting to get down on paper. The muse hasn’t agitated the waters yet, so it’s still just a disembodied dream.

And, although most of my friends would never guess it, I’ve always wanted to paint. Not the bedroom walls, you understand, but actual artistic painting. I took a class once, a long, long time ago. The one project from that session that is still around is not quite finished. It was turning out so much better than I had expected that I was afraid to add the finishing touches—putting the leaves on the tree. So I decided to leave it at very, very, very early spring, before any of them started peeking out.

Intriguing recipes have always caught my eye. I have files full of them. I still copy one down every once in a while. But a few years ago it suddenly occurred to me that we use the same basic dishes over and over, and I haven’t opened those files except to insert a new candidate. They will probably go out in the massive trash dump when it comes time to clean out the house.

But I’m already starting to do a mental housecleaning. I’m beginning to understand that some of the things I’ve always wanted to do will most likely never get done. Priorities are being reset, with things of an eternal nature coming out distinctly on top. And, of course, family history runs a close second to husband and children (though they might think they win only in theory, not in practice).

The pressures that are tapping me on the shoulder now are more like, “Will I ever finish getting my notes in order?” “How can I get a week away to dig into those court records in that courthouse basement?” “Which of all these people with the same last name are related to my guy?” “Does he have any sisters who have disappeared into matrimonial obscurity?” “Where is that one elusive clue that will finally tell me who his parents are???”

Tick, tick, tick. Please just leave me my hands (to type), my eyes (to read), and my brain (to interpret and formulate and guess and pray). And most of all, pretty please, just a few more good years.

No comments:

Post a Comment