In this first winter of my retirement some days weigh heavier than others. Yesterday grew so onerous for example that I cleaned out the mudroom. Trying to sort out my yearnings I thought about how anxious I am to see this book materialize, then I wondered if it’s just cabin fever.
I am an ambitious person. No matter what I complete, how well projects or objectives are met, I feel unfinished. Is this the outcome of a driven personality? A perfectionist? Or a nut-job? Somehow the causes seem irrelevant when the restlessness drives me to pursue housework.
I envy those who can putter around contentedly, planting flowers, decorating walls, and in many ways living in the moment and making that moment beautiful. I try to attend to that affective side of myself, but never out of serenity, Guilt haunts my activities, pushing me to complete the task. Not love, not pleasure, not contentment. Jesus how many antidepressants can one soul swallow?
In River of January I am working with people I understand. We are kindred spirits, Chum, Helen and I. They too drove themselves to find success.
I get it, he wanted to do what he wanted to do. And the man wanted to fly airplanes. As remote as that possibility appeared from a family farm at the foot of the Appalachians, Chum pursued that single aim for all it was worth.
Helen, too, aimed stardom, and she trained as if she were running a marathon. They disregarded all the powers of inertia and conformity, pushing forward even though they had no guarantees of success.
I too, have no guarantees in this book effort, but my spirit is restless and pushes on anyway. It’s just my nature.
This couple lived in a unique time and place. America convulsed with growth in the early to mid Twentieth Century, and they both found opportunity in the upheaval. I am compelled to preserve their tale, and compelled to find some success sharing it in book form.
It snowed last night. Shoveling ought to smooth the edge off my restless fidgeting.