My poor old camera is on its last tripod (get it? on its last legs, but cameras don’t have legs? sorry, it’s been that sort of day). And I still haven’t had time to figure out my lovely new camera yet. So I apologize in advance for the quality of these pictures.
As you know, I’ve been having one of those weeks. I’ve been working very hard, and today I needed a break. So first, I went to downtown Lexington. I bought myself some ice cream, a scoop of heath bar with extra heath bar pieces on top. With my ice cream, I climbed up to my favorite place in Lexington: the top of the bell tower hill. There’s a large rock up there, and from it you can see all around. Here I am on the rock, in weekend working gear (an old v-neck shirt, an old pair of jeans that are two sizes too large but very comfortable, Keds with no shoe laces because they broke and I’ve never bothered buying new ones). Looking somewhat ragged, but then I was up until 3:00 a.m. last night, reviewing and correcting.
Then, I went to the library, which was having a book sale, and bought two books: an anthology of ghost stories edited by Roald Dahl and On Writing by Stephen King. I’ve actually read very little by Stephen King, having been traumatized by Pet Sematary when I was a teenager. Also, he writes in a style that I’ve never found all that compelling, although perhaps I haven’t read the right stories. But I’m interested in what he has to say about writing.
And then I drove in the other direction, toward the town of Bedford, to an antiques store that had been recommended to me. There, I bought three things. The first was a small silver pin. I’m afraid the photograph did not come out well, and also the silver is tarnished and needs cleaning, but it has a glass insert at the center with a design of oranges and leaves. It’s a pretty thing for me to wear on sweaters.
The second was a green Wedgewood plate. I have several pieces of green Wedgewood, and this is a nice addition to my collection.
The third was a Chinese snuff bottle with a reverse-painted design of rabbits on both sides. I love Chinese snuff bottles, and I liked this design.
Part of what makes these things exquisite is their size: the pin is about an inch and a half long, the plate is about four and a half inches in diameter, and the snuff bottle is about three inches tall. (And I’m 5’4″, but I wasn’t counting myself among the exquisite things. Not looking as ragged as I did today. And I don’t know yet whether the books will be exquisite, but I rather think not.)
Then I came home again, to get to work once more. But just as it was getting dark, I walked around the yard, and in one corner I saw three white bellflowers. No one would see them where they were, in the middle of a lilac bush, so I cut them and put them into a vase. They are now sitting on a corner of my writing desk. I think I’ll take a picture of them with my cell phone – right now – so you can see what they look like. They’re exquisite too. (That’s my glass of lime fizzy water, on a coaster I sewed ages ago from cotton scraps.)
And here I am, back home, getting back to work, reviewing and correcting. I’ll probably be up until 3:00 a.m. again tonight.
I’ve been thinking a lot about meaning – what is the meaning of my life, and why do I keep going, even when the going is as tough as it has been lately? Sometimes, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure. It’s at those times that exquisite things can help. That I can look to my right, as I’m looking now, and see bellflowers in a vase, and think – yes, lovely. And that gets me through, at least a little while longer.