Autumn of My Discontent

Begin here. It is Monday and deadlines once again loom. I have films to watch, review copy to write, eyebrows to wax. I have done what I can to prepare—my laundry is done, my house is spotless, meals has been cooked for the week. And once again almost everything on my to-do list is something I like. But aspects of this week require Churchill’s “courage to continue,” and my nervous system registers this shrilly. Just another day on the IRT, as they used to say. To abate my anxiety, I can take another dance class; I can go down to the water and make some offerings; I can plan an end-of-day drink with a friend. I will likely do all of these things. But the blank slate that I desire—a week of fireplaces and tromps through the woods and reading by the fire and gorgeous meals I did not cook and ogling big skies—still evades me. Even yesterday I was pulled into action. The sun was bright, friends were in town, errands demanded to be run. I was a blur.

I am lucky enough to have realized some of the dreams of my youth, and to know I may realize even more. But today, this fall, this year, my fantasy is so prosaic that I am amused that it keeps moving out of my reach. Utopia: perfect place, no place. Ah, well. Perhaps I will have a Winter of My Content.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy