November 16, 2002

A Few Simple Questions

What to do with my life. Not the capital-L Life. The one with the little L. What will I do with my morning, since the sun is shining and Buster the dog seems to be up to some exercise. Inside, there are so many piles to deal with on the desk, and in my cluttered capital-L Life. So, outside we will go.

Mindless busywork in the sunshine -- this is the order of the day. There is a rough stack of firewood I stashed away down beyond the garden, old punky chunks so far gone it will be hard to tell what kind of wood they once were. They won't last another season in the weather and be good for anything, but they will throw off some heat before going to cold ash in the woodstove. I can toss a week's winter heat into the back of the truck, and when I get around to it later today, unload it onto the main wood pile near the house. Buster has promised to help.

This is a pleasant kind of task, necessary but not urgent; physical but not brutally so. 'Mindless' is not the right word for this kind of job. These simple physical projects where your hands are busy --loading wood, or pulling weeds, or tying up the tomatoes -- don't require focus of thought or planning, no judgement or opinion. It is in this state of pleasant manual occupation that I seem to have my most entertaining 'thoughts'. While I am distracted by the task at hand, the muses come of their own choosing, not necessarily invited, but welcomed. They find comfortable places to nestle nearby in the warm sun where we chat for a spell. These aren't Nobel Prize visitors, mind you, but generally welcome, none the less.

In the midst of my mindlessness at the woodpile today, one of my muses asked with genuine interest:

"Why are you here?"

The simplicity of the question took me a bit by surprise. I stopped what I was doing and watched the sun flashing silver on the creek for a moment, stalling for time. I considered each word of the question slowly and by itself. Then I asked for some clarification.

"For starters, let's talk about the 'here' in your question. Do you mean why am I standing in this spot doing this task now? Or do you wonder why I am occupying this body instead of someone else? Do you want to know why am I present at just this time in history? Or do you mean how is it that I exist here, today in this particular latitude and longitude on the planet and not some other place, since this is to some degree a matter of choices I have made. By 'here' do you mean in this particular set of circumstances, in this specific state of mind at this moment in time?

"Yes", answered the muse.

"Oh go away and leave me alone. I'm just out getting the dog and me some exercise. I'll see if I can answer your question, but it's going to take a while. I'm pretty certain I can only tell you now why I am loading the truck with wood. Or at least I thought I could. Beyond that, I will have to ponder and I ponder better indoors sitting in my reading chair. I'm not ready to go in just yet. I'm going for a walk. Wanna come along?"

"Yes", answered the muse, brushing leaf litter from her gossamer gown. "But tell me, where are you going?"

Buster growled.

Posted by fred1st at November 16, 2002 05:04 AM

Oh yeah. Glad to see the muse pestering other people besides me!

Buster's not the only one growling when Muse is around.

Posted by: Da Goddess at November 16, 2002 05:24 AM

Muse, causes synapses to fire and ..............
And then there is the community of Muse Florida.
Who would name their town Muse? That could cause one to..Muse?
God Bless y'all

Posted by: Charlie at November 16, 2002 04:21 PM

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