Sunday, August 22, 2010

Conquering the Forces of Evil

Even after a full eight hours in the hammock, I wasn’t especially enthusiastic about getting out of bed when the clock/radio abruptly announced the CBC news at six o`clock this morning. On the heels of seven weeks of almost uninterrupted disruption, caused by an unusually prolonged vacuum in business, car problems and a reactionary return to former indulgences, things are only just beginning to stabilize themselves once again. It is no fun being reminded of the unevenness of life though of course no one can escape it. Eventually circumstances dish out a measure of trouble. I can’t imagine why in the world I would ever assume that I should be spared such allotment, and yet it always comes as a shock, upsetting the pattern and progress of my erstwhile monotony. While I am always happy to find myself on the smooth side of the demarcation between regular and irregular events, I will never be persuaded to become so thoroughly philosophical about the rough ones to adopt an accepting view of them. It is just plain bother! And I could well do without the inconvenience.

Setting oneself straight is the result of many factors combining at once. To choreograph such a mix of ingredients is often out of one’s control. At times we must be satisfied to assume an attitude of laissez-faire, content to snap one’s fingers at fate and to allow the passage of time to somehow make it all well again. To suppose otherwise is perhaps little more than self-deception. In the interim if we are uncertain about how to proceed it is possible to deaden the pain by deviation into the world of make-believe, assisted by one sedative or another, buoyed sometimes by a good British comedy, perhaps a blazing fire (if the season is convenient) and nourishing hors d’oeuvres. But in the end it is all play-acting by comparison to the real business of ironing out the resistant wrinkles of life. As much as one might desire to ignore the exigencies of life’s demands and await the persuasive effect of time, there is nonetheless always room for capitulation to its urgencies. If one is to avoid a relentless crescendo of difficult situations, the inflections must be dealt with as part of one’s job of getting on with things.

The difficulty slaying this particular dragon is often the result of being temporarily stunned by the impact of its offending elements. It takes time to gather one’s wits to assess the particulars. In addition there is certain inertia about having suddenly to change course to accommodate misfortune. The whole affair can be quite overwhelming, all said.

Not, however, to be defeated, we together took up a plan to distract ourselves this morning. For some distraction is nothing more than entertainment at best, and at worst a manufactured fabrication, an ineffective stab at avoiding the existential dilemmas of waiting for Godot, anything “to hold the terrible silence at bay”. This is a difficult theory to reject, especially if one has difficulty sleeping at night, when the carnival of life’s madness is so frequently manifest. But, as I say, I had already been jerked from the soporific pool of psychosis by our good friends at CBC, and I had made up my waking mind to put to rest some of the demons which had possessed me lately.

What first transpired was a not unpleasant jaunt along the bucolic Appleton Side Road to the Village for breakfast at the Golf Club. Thereafter, it was a visit to the Château Laurier Hotel in the City for a revitalizing swim and restful sauna. Upon our departure from that ancient spa, and on our way along tree-lined McKenzie Street in front of the Embassy of the United States of America we determined to take in the current exhibition at the nearby National Gallery. Luckily for us the exposition in progress was modern Pop Art which was refreshing and light, perfect for an otherwise dismal day. Frankly the experience satisfied my yearning for improvement. With the hour approaching 1:00 p.m., and after several false starts, we then found ourselves on the Silk Road being ushered to a large table in a Chinese restaurant for Dim Sum. With our usual gusto, and as is peculiar to the Dim Sum experience generally I find, we got down to the business at hand in no uncertain terms and in fairly rapid succession. Shortly we were back on the sidewalk, fighting for space and passage with the growing population in the popular By Ward Market. It wasn’t even a matter of discussion to career our speedy exit from the gathering swarms.

The end of our day was spent revisiting old movies, and – for one of us at least – dedication to the preparation of a healthful vegetable soup stocked from the produce of local growers and His Lordship's very own garden. The aroma is delightful!

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