"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just in Time

It's a sad and strange thing,
But it's time and I am changing,
Into something good or bad well that's your guess.
I'm my own sovereign nation,
Dedicated to transformation,
Marching on with this target on my chest, oh yes.
And it's alright, it's alright, it's alright.

--"It's Alright," music and lyrics by Dar Williams, 2008

Just in time to get me through the insanity of late September and the looming madness of October, Dar Williams released a new album, Promised Land. I picked it up before we left for Washington, and it's my constant companion in the car.

It suits my mercurial moods perfectly as I veer from wild optimism on a range of issues into the depths of gloom. I'm not normally pessimistic, but for some reason I'm unusually affected by uncertainty, weariness, the weather, and a desperate longing for transformation. Or, in the political parlance of the day, Change.

Re-entry into Lodge living has been odd.

It was a joyous reunion with Ruth and Jewel, of course. On the way to their hilltop kennel at sunset I had to stop so a procession of a dozen turkeys could cross the road in front of me.

The trees are changing rapidly and beautifully, pockets of intense colour can be found round every bend in the road.

The demolition--sorry, re-construction of our master bath has resumed, with new projections about the completion date.

Almost from the moment of my return I was plunged into activity. A make-up mandolin lesson. An evening meeting about thorny and seemingly insoluble social problems affecting area youth.

I've got a bunch of decisions to make and numerous details to oversee. I'm afraid to make lists, for fear of being overwhelmed!

It's very rainy and will be all weekend long. After a dry spell, that's usually a good thing but actually it's quite nerve-wracking because there's a flood watch. My district has had about 4 (I'm losing count) 100-year floods over the past 3 years. Another one is unimaginable.

I expected to feel better, refreshed, for having been away. In a way I do, and in a way I don't. Washington was sunny, I was hanging out with titled foreigners and dining on delicious food and dressing up and seeing relatives. By the end of the trip I was more than ready to come home. Now...I long to escape again. Not too far, just to the cottage on the Big Lake. But I'm anchored here for the time being.

Not that we don't have impressive dignitaries here in New Hampshire. In fact, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is making a visitation over the weekend. I'll attend a dinner with her this evening and our Bishop gave me responsibility for collecting her at the hotel and delivering her to our hosts' home. Preparations for this unexpected honour entailed de-dogging my automobile. Which now looks fab, I'm proud to announce. No more dog drool obscuring the windows, or fur sticking to the leather seats.

I was leaving Washington as things heated up over this congressional bailout business. I know, I know, I should've stayed and solved the problem myself. Easy enough to do. I'd have marched down to the Capitol and knocked heads together, and advised them to be sensible and collegial and less political. If met with resistence, I would yank them out of their offices and wrest them away from their photo ops and send them all to the National Zoo together. My visit with all those lovely animals, seeing families with kids and smiling visitors from all across America and the globe did me a world of good.

To conclude on a happy note, at least for me, despite the temptations at table I returned home at the same weight I was when I left. An achievement in discipline! Will I be able to repeat it in London?

Wishing everyone what I hope for myself, a pleasant, angst-free weekend. It's a testing time. But as Dar so aptly says...It's Alright.

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