I was up and out earlier this morning and it’s surprisingly cold and blustery, in the 40’s. I got over to a local coffee house to meet my young friend, Jeff, but he was unable to make it. His young daughter was ill and therefore understandable. Oh, do I remember those days as a young father, trying to keep it all going. Looking back on it, I’m not sure how I did it. Night hours walking a sick child, days walking with myself and others at various stages of awareness, somehow staying upright and able to take nourishment and then night again, no end to the care of loved ones. Even blurry-eyed I had some sense of the privilege of it. Now in my freedom to look back even more of an honor to have been a parent and to have cared for four wonderful children and a devoted wife and mother. Yes, and I want to say quickly, how much I’m honored that my wife took care of me, and in their infant ways, the children as well, bringing out, drawing out, those natural, loving instincts in me, for me to see, reminding me that I was not as inadequate as I always felt myself to be. My four infant children now mature children in their 50’s and 60’s, reassure me, on occasion, that I have taught them well, not by speech but by action, by how I lived my own life. I’ll accept that, though, looking back, I can see where I might have lived it better in some respects. I say of myself now the only reasonable thing to say about my past or anyone’s past: I did the best I could where I was at the time, That’s the way it was, will always be. It’s always healing, of course, to reconnect with those people in your past who you’ve hurt in some way. Forgiveness is never out of line.
In Kornelia’s absence, I’ve moved my desk from my master bedroom behind a closed door to the dining room table in the expansive living area with a full view to the water and boats. A nice change that encourages my creativity. I’m sure that when Kornelia returns, it will produce the same effect. Moving back into my master bedroom will produce a new surge of creativity. In fact there’s something snug and comforting about my own rooms surrounded by my books, my bed and my new couch that I truly prize, a ” man-cave” the current name for it.
I hosted my first social event right here at the dining room table last night, enjoying the company of Tom and Mary and a new friend, Kathy, who I’d met at a Christmas Party in mid-December. I hadn’t talked to her since then but I phoned her yesterday in the early afternoon – out of the blue, you’d have to say – to invite her to join us for dinner. Much to Kathy’s credit she was game. She had remembered, too, the good conversation we’d had then sitting at the bar in our friends’ crowded house sipping wine. Mary brought one of her delicious salads with a special dressing and I cooked my own standby, Cuban Picadello, from Eat More, Burn More, by Chef Gui Alinat, a chili which includes not only ground round beef, but chorizo and spices including cinnamon, olives and raisins. I also baked some Keto-inspired dinner rolls which ere okay but will look for a better almond flour based bread next time. We spent most of the evening gathered in the circle of couches in the living room area doing something old-fashioned like talking, exchanging ideas and impressions. Tom and Mary always such a delight and Kathy, with her executive background, with so many insights to add. I especially admired the high regard in which she held her husband who died some years ago now, 22 years her senior. I would like to have known him too.
I was surprised by how desperately tired I became at one point in the conversation after dinner. I hate the feeling of fighting to keep my eyes open, to try to track someone’s thought, but it soon passed. I just note it here because I want the readers to get an honest idea of what I have to deal with in myself at 91 years of age. I note also that for sometime now I haven’t slept well at nights, waking up at 12:30 AM or so even when I’ve retired early. Now last night, I got a comparatively good night’s sleep, getting to bed a little later, but sleeping until 3:30 AM and then rolling over and sleeping another 2 hours. Consequently I now feel energetic, rested, ready for the afternoon and evening ahead. Let’s see what happens tonight? What connection, if any, does it have to do with Kornelia’s absence? At what might the new practice of using a foot roller on the soles of my feet have to do with it?