Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Wednesday's Very Short Nanowrimo Offering ( Day 4)

Just a shortie today ... I was hiking and teaching and sharing a lunch ... and then too tired to do much more than play with my sketch book and prepare for tomorrow's trip to Montreal. I hope that friday and the weekend witll be more productive ...

November 4, 2009 6 a.m.

No Dreams ...

A weird thing happens when a quest of any kind becomes the focal point of life. It happens when I begin to follow any interest. It used to happen all the time when I was still working. It always happens when I am immersed in writing or my newest hobby: painting funky furniture. Everything I do begins to relate in some way to my obsession.

I lose my own life, and instead begin to follow leads. Life becomes a bit like following maze paths. If I am lucky I will discover that I'm in a labyrinth, not a maze.

My grandfather's quest for justice has become my quest for the truth, my newest obsession. And I feel as if I am lost in his maze.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I also have a life of my own that demands my attention, and so occasionally I escape from the maze.

Last night provided me with one such psychic escape; I slept dreamlessly ... at least I think I did. The old goat will likely haunt me at some time today, but I have a busy morning planned, so perhaps he will wait until afternoon when I return from the hike/English lesson/closing luncheon.

Providing English language training to a man a few years younger than myself, one who is charming and would rather play than work on his vacation, seems to be a very decadent way to earn money. I know that Klaus will likely learn at least as much English from talking to people as he would from a formal lesson, so I don't feel nearly as guilty as I might.

I am beginning to sound like Grandpa.

Grandpa's philosophy was based on being good company, having a good time himself, and sharing his joie de vivre with the ladies. Did he harm them? Not if they understood that during the short time he was here he would flit from flower to flower displaying his colourful charm to all who were lucky enough to be touched by him. A butterfly, not an elephant.

I thought of a walk I took once while traveling. I sauntered along a path following the erratic movements of a bright blue butterfly. I remember the torturous climb to the path. I remember the crowds that thinned once I got there. I remember the vendors selling junk on the way up and the ones selling drinks at intervals along the road. I remember Peggy's demands that I photograph her on yet another marathon physical challenge after she'd jogged ahead. But I also remember the beauty of the view beyond the wall.

Most often though, I remember that butterfly. Every other butterfly I have seen since then has reminded me of the glorious landscape through which we passed as we made our purposeless way along the cobbled road of the Great Wall of China.

If I discovered who killed my Grandpa, what would I do? Whoever did it would be just as dead as he is now. It was beginning to seem a very silly undertaking.

"No quest is silly, woman," rumbled that now familiar voice.

I looked around for the source. I sniffed the air. Nothing.

"Good grief, have you decided to haunt my waking hours like some vile ear worm?"

There was no response.

"A quest is supposed to help you find the courage you lack," I said aloud. "I don't think I am cowardly."

"A quest is a journey in which the adventurer discovers something far more important than the treasure he seeks," he finally answered.

"What did you learn on your own quest?" I asked.

He laughed, "What quest? I was a butterfly, remember?"

7:14 ... another hour another 600 words.

1 comment:

Barbara Carlson said...

I certainly understand obsessions -- it's the only way to live -- a natural escape from one's nagging little self into a wider world.