Ponder this:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Year Grows Old

I have entered my October personality phase.
There are lots of people who just love October, and I have, some years, too. This October I'm drifting into my alternate personality again. That old hibernation urge is becoming strong again. My synapses have slowed, my thoughts have turned inward, my confusion grows: How to survive until Light and Warmth return? The only reassurance I have that it will happen is that I have done it so many times.

MiMau and I have this in common: We associate eating and affection. 
In her case, she requires petting to eat. Inversely, the less petting I receive, the more I eat. 

The last three books I have read:
A Dog's Purpose
I read about it at The 7 MSN Ranch, got my hands on it as quickly as I could. It's a great dog story, with more dog's-point-of-view understanding and less sappy sentimentality than other books it brings to mind (The Art of Racing in the Rain, Marley & Me).
The Silent Miaow
Forty-five years ago my closest friend recommended it to me. A few weeks ago somebody was packing up her mother-in-law's belongings and asked me if I wanted some of the books. The Silent Miaow was in there and I grabbed it. (Note to L:  Thanks for the recommendation. If you have any other books you think I should read you'd better tell me now: I doubt I have another forty-five years to follow through.)
Lent to me by a friend who watches her DVD of Under the Tuscan Sun over and over again, and who rushed to buy Eat, Pray, Love
I got it in the first fifty pages. The rest of the book made me sad: How come I'm not finding dimes and pennies and how come my lights aren't flickering when I think of dead loved ones? Am/Was I less loved than the people whose stories fill the book?

As an antidote to Messages, yesterday I was able to retrieve my requested Packing for Mars from the library. Lots of information, lots of wit. The chapter on space-sickness, which I read last night, seemed a little more extensive and in-depth than previous chapters. Or maybe it just seemed that way because the author writes so descriptively . . . I began to feel a little green and had to take a break.

Things I used to do before I acquired two poodles:
  • Knit
  • Read more than two pages at a time
  • Bake goodies
  • Be able to follow recipes
  • Had a maximum attention span > that of a gnat
  • Walk in a straight line, farther than five feet, without stopping. I seem to recall being able to put away clean laundry without doing the hesitation step (to allow the pack to dis- and re-assemble) the whole way.
  • Polish more than three fingernails without stopping 
Next Saturday I'll be sitting for another civil service exam. Same title as my current title, new candidate list needed. I'll be there with my No. 2 pencils and my silent handheld calculator and my picture ID. I expect the county needs the list to fill school secretary positions. Hm. Pine-oil-cleaner-and-chalk smell of school, piping child sounds, the constant need for carefully considered language... Not a perfect fit for me, but if it got me away from the political shenanigans in Small Pond, and through three more years to retirement age, I might could do it.

Husband was just outdoors and says there is ice where there was water yesterday. I believe this is the first frost. 

Edna St. Vincent Millay - When The Year Grows Old

I cannot but remember
   When the year grows old—
   How she disliked the cold!

She used to watch the swallows
   Go down across the sky,
And turn from the window
   With a little sharp sigh.

And often when the brown leaves
   Were brittle on the ground,
And the wind in the chimney
   Made a melancholy sound,

She had a look about her
   That I wish I could forget—
The look of a scared thing
   Sitting in a net!

Oh, beautiful at nightfall
   The soft spitting snow!
And beautiful the bare boughs
   Rubbing to and fro!

But the roaring of the fire,
   And the warmth of fur,
And the boiling of the kettle
   Were beautiful to her!

I cannot but remember
   When the year grows old —
October — November —
   How she disliked the cold!


Wanda..... said...

Hope you can find plenty of light and warmth, in books and summer memories, by a nice fire to help you through the cold, June. I actually kinda of like winter...hot soups, baked crusty bread, fireplaces, snowy scenes and sweaters (I love sweaters)!

It hasn't frosted here yet!

Fran Hill said...

Good luck in your exam. I always wanted to be a school secretary and ended up as a teacher. I love the whole atmosphere of schools, though.

VioletSky said...

We are actually having unseasonably warm weather this long holiday weekend. Sitting outside in the bright sunshine is making me very happy. Actually, the lack of summer's humidity makes me downright giddy.

Charlene said...

I also hate the cold; more so as I age.

I'm looking for the place in the country that never gets hotter than 80 and colder than 50. SMILE

Friko said...

Edna S.V.M. is a favourite of mine, a poet to read afgain and again.

Good luck with the exam.
Also, your dogs seem to have you well-trained.

Barb said...

Hi June, I had almost forgotten about the painted fingernails. It snowed on the high peaks 2 nights last week. Fall is edging into winter in the Rocky Mountains. I agree with Wanda, though - I do like winter but sometimes wish it didn't last quite so long. I read THE SILENT MIAOW years ago and got it for my D-i-L. Good Luck on the exam - school secretary jobs ARE political - (as is everything related to public schools...)

Carolynn Anctil said...

I am DEFINITELY in my pre-hibernation period. Case in point: I had cake AND potato chips for dinner last night and then sat on the couch and watched, not one, but two movies back to back, which meant I got to bed late and consequently slept in 'til 11:00 a.m. today. I followed this performance with french toast & maple syrup for breakfast (which was actually eaten at noon...) *sigh*

I'm trying to redeem myself with a non-athletic bike ride today.

Books: I'm currently attempting to make sense of my cat's incessant and insistent nocturnal HOWLING by reading the Dr. Myrna Milani's book, The Body Language and Emotion Cats. Wish me luck.

Joey said...

Oh my word. I didn't think there was another me out there! I wonder... does it get worse every year ??

Joey said...

Oh I forgot.. I'm sorry.

Best wishes on your exam. You can do it. I know you can.

Vicki Lane said...

Best of wishes for the exam. Fall is a nice time to be in a school.

Love the poem!

Lord Wellbourne said...

Ah, public school--the smell of chalk, and dry-erase markers. The roar of testosterone and the thrill of estrogen.

You know how much I adore this season so I won't be smug. I truly enjoy the chill and gloom as well as the clear, dazzling light on the leaves.

Thanks for the shot of Edna--it always makes me happy to read her.

Linda Myers said...

We're having unusually sunny weather here in the Pacific Northwest, but I'll be ready to turn on my morning light box pretty soon.