Thursday, April 14, 2011

Balls in the Air

I have flung open the front oaken door of the office building allowing the cool morning air to spill into the recesses of my business tombs. After a confined winter it is refreshing to exhaust the stale air from the place. The sun is already high in the sky tracking its way over the clock tower into the southwest, beaming its yellow light through the window casements across the multi-coloured rugs. It has to be one of the advantages of a store-front operation that one can harbour the air from one’s own veranda.

Things on the adjoining street are however quieter than usual, even at the normally busy bakery next door. Regrettably “catacomb” is not an inappropriate metaphor for the current state of affairs. I have heard some who blame the malady upon the weather, the tax man and rising oil and hydro prices. One chap (who has been in the service industry for about thirty years) said he has always known the springtime to be cautious and he recalls that his former employer regularly reduced the working schedule to a four-day week. Others have suggested there is still capital but it is not being put to work, neither by those who hoard it for themselves nor by those who make a point of selling it with interest. Meanwhile the Bank of Canada continues to prod the subject of rising interest rates, sometimes advancing a threat to increase but then withdrawing, postponing to another day. How effective such manipulation is I do not know. Having graduated to a point in life when I am now more interested in disposition than acquisition I am not able to assess the ambitions of the younger generation although I suspect the lack of employment for many is a deciding consideration.

There must always be an allowance for luck in any adventure. I presently have a number of balls in the air, and the buoyancy of those matters very much depends on unpredictable fortune. Whether the circumstances translate into portion or adversity, gravy or hardship, is unknown notwithstanding any amount of planning or devotion. The same can be said of the general flow of business especially where one’s occupation (as mine) is not entirely economically driven but rather motivated by fate and other intangibles.

The mere effluxion of time rather than any specific event will by default also ensure transition though it offends my desire for control to submit to such indisputable governance. One should I suppose be encouraged during these shallow moments to resist the need to manipulate and instead enjoy the scenery. Besides, the present vacuum is a product not only of economic conditions but also of strategic decisions I have made about what I do and for whom. In any event I confess I derive no small pleasure from knowing that all my files are up-to-date and in good order, duly prosecuted to a satisfactory stage or conclusion. It satisfies my eagerness for order. Additionally as a landlord I have already undertaken the annual commitment to arrange the usual property maintenance with the applicable trades.

The backdrop to all this scheming is the usual muddle of everyday events, trials, sometimes small victories, ups and downs. Anything mechanical - especially a car - is assured to have its disappointments. In the end it is all about one’s health and the weather. As for the rest, you might as well try to pin down a cloud.

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