Thoughts on a quiet Saturday
I have been thinking, over these past few weeks, about not writing anymore. By which I don’t mean that I want to give it up, or that I will ever give it up, really–it’s too ingrained now, too much of a habit, too something-I-can’t-find-the-word–but only that it seems that much easier now to say goodbye to things, to the idea of writing. To content myself with a job that pays more than anything my degrees have given me, with the ability to pay my bills and buy food that I like and purchase things just for the hell of it. To play music into the afternoon hours and turn my mind off after work.
I bought good winter boots last week. I paid the same amount of money for them that I paid for two months’ worth of groceries back when I was living in Scotland. When I was happy and miserable all at once. And I didn’t really flinch at this at all–this fact of so much money disappearing for something I could carry out of the store in a bag. I need good winter boots, I told myself. I don’t want to be cold from the toes up this year. And as luck would have it, the day after I bought them the cold came in earnest. I walked to work in those expensive winter boots and I was happy, or content, or something. How cosy my feet were. How snuggled. How warm.
I feel the same way about the bookshelves that I bought from IKEA two weeks ago. Two bookshelves and two frames, another purchase that I wouldn’t have entertained at all five years ago. Why spend money on something like that when you could go on Kijiji and maybe get something for free?
But they match. They’ve brought an entirely different air to my house. And suddenly I find myself thinking: I need new shoe racks, and maybe more picture frames, and maybe it’s time to trade my old Kijiji bookshelves in for something else that also matches, and maybe I’d like a new couch, too. And the thing is–maybe I don’t want to sit in front of my desk now for hours on end. Maybe I just want my life to expand.
And still, the day comes when there’s no need to go outside and I don’t. I sit inside and stare at my computer screen for hours and push out five hundred words, maybe a little more. I think: I hate this book. I think: I love this book. I think: I want my life to be more than this book.
And somehow more suddenly means nothing to do with this book, or any book of mine at all.
I am reading Alison Pick’s Between Gods right now and even though it’s about Judaism it’s reminding me of what it felt like to grow up in church–the same hushed sounds, the idea that so many things could be holy. I miss that, I think, which is part of the problem. The holiness of good winter boots doesn’t feel quite the same. They feel like lesser joys.