The day is so dark I’ve had to struggle not to go back to bed. A pot of dark roast coffee hasn’t helped. And now, the rain has started. Fat, slow drops that will give way to wind and a cold front that will come close to freezing all the hot December-confused plants by morning.
Instead of going back to bed, I turned on all the lights in my study: two lamps on my desk, a lamp on the free-standing bookshelves, sconces over the built-in bookshelves, and a decorative round stained glass lamp that gives off more glare than light. Now I’m pulling all the books out of the freestanding shelves to dust, assess, and reconfigure. It’s part of my antiaging routine. Ha. A way to take an iron file to my brain and check out all the loose ends I’ve left on the shelves. A novel one-third written. Unfinished essays. Stacks of books and printed articles that caught my eye once but remain unread.
I’ll probably replace all that flotsam and jetsam with my intrigue du jour, art journals. The dining table nearby is piled high with mixed media notebooks, half to 3/4 filled, all sorts of sizes. Paints, stencils, pencils, baskets of collage material, stamps, a gelatine plate for monoprinting, bottles of ink (the one called Peacock that is gray-green is my favorite), word scraps — these have metastasized to a storage room upstairs and are strewn across the floor for me to organize. Right.
Strange, all this. While not a minimalist, herbs in my pantry are — well, used to be — alphabetized. More space than stuff. That was me. What has happened?
Several of the bookshelves are empty now and dusted. It’s a perfect activity for listening to an audiobook. I am roughly in the middle of Annie Dillard’s new book of old essays, The Abundance, and only a few spoken pages into Katherine May’s Wintering, but neither fit the bill for today’s work. I just downloaded Stephen King’s novel, Billy Summers, starring a quirky killer with a conscience.