A Hundred Gourds 3:2 March 2014

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Ray Rasmussen - Canada


A man descending is propelled by inertia; the only initiative left him is whether or not he decides to enjoy the passing scene. ” ~ Guy Vanderhaege

Outside, snowflakes swirl and drift, while inside the fire sizzles and warms. Eliza Gilkyson’s “The Party’s Over” is playing in the background. I’m listening and my friend is reading a novel she “can’t put down.”

I say: “Eliza’s right. The party is over. I’m just taking up space.”

She protests: “Taking up space? You’re speaking of yourself as a parasite, but I see you as a man of passion with many interests.”

Parasite? No, that’s not quite right. Parasites don’t experience guilt.

“Don't most people my age think that their life lacks meaning, engage in the mundane routines of eating, bland TV and pulp fiction?”

“But you’re active, you do photography, you write, you make deep trips into wilderness, you bring others along.”

Bring others along? Yes, for my own pleasure. No giving there, just taking.

“I’m a dabbler. Dabbler ducks never dive deep; they simply tip tail up and feed in the shallows.”

“Why isn’t it enough to just be." she says, "... why not savour the fritatta and tea, enjoy the snowfall by the warmth of our fire, share reading and music.”

No, that’s not it either. I do enjoy those things.

“When I pat myself on the back for being a more active dabbler than others, I know it’s a delusion.”

“Why do I feel so threatened, so devalued by how you see yourself? Our relationship must also mean nothing to you.”

How did we get to her and me?

I feel blessed that a talented, lovely woman like you is willing to share so many things with me in the fall of my life.”

“I guess any woman like me would do then ... you’re dabbling with me.”

No, that’s not it at all … Or, maybe it is.

snow flurries –
windows coated
with ice

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