I. Spinning Wheel
Sitting here, as I am, in a chair that has ended up here, in this place, by unknown circuitous routes, beneath a fan that has been turning nearly nonstop for the better part of a year and a half, pondering the meaning of the phrase used as the title for this post. It came to me as I contemplated the small, earthenware cup, the likes of which I tend to employ when only wanting a bit of wine as opposed to a whole glass (knowing all the while that this is charade, fooling whom I know not), that had but a pittance of wine remaining in it. It posed the question of whether or not I would have more wine and attempt to write, or succumb to other, less immediate forces and retreat to bed. There was but a spoonful of wine remaining, yet the decision seemed weighty…
As it happens, the phrase is the title of a song. Props to those of you that know it.
Some days it seems that life comes crashing down over you, like a wave unexpected. Not terrible, nor destructive necessarily, but… disruptive, or at least alarming. Some days take you places you did not intend. Some days leave you pondering the usefulness and longevity of a spoonful of wine, or the blades of a fan, turning relentlessly above you, gathering dust and grime. Some days end up a train wreck of the above and leave you tangled and beaten, an unintended consequence of circumstance and the best you can hope for is that there was no collateral damage.
There is something melancholy about that fan, grinding away above me, keeping the air in this ridiculous little house, so out of place in this place for one who tries to see the place with different eyes, moving. It grinds away, spinning, turning the air that is so dust laden and dry. It is ceaseless, the task unending. No direction, no point really. Spinning wheel.
II. Knowing the path and walking the path.
I read an interview with the Dude, wherein he describes a labyrinth that he mowed into his lawn and which he commonly employs as a meditative device. Sometimes he dances through it. He illuminated readers, such as myself, on the difference between mazes and labyrinths; the one is confounding, with dead ends and confusion and the point is to find the way out while the other poses a simple question… to enter or not.
We do not get to choose whether or not we enter life, we awake to find ourselves within it. One might even question if “we” can even be separated from “life”. We do however, I should think, get to choose to approach life like a maze, frantically scrabbling through the dead ends only to get out of it, or conversely like a labyrinth, whereupon having already entered, we might choose some days to dance.
The Boy fell ill today, sudden onset of an ear infection we were to learn. I spent the day with him at home. He slept mostly, but in his waking hours, I was simply there for him. I wanted nothing else of the day but to give him peace, knowing that he was not well and more importantly that, not having much control over the maze his life might seem, I might show him that even in times of duress, one can dance… or at least abide.
Alas, the day was interrupted by work, as so many are, and so, when the Boy slept I labored. I did not heed my own advice nor intent, and the few hours that were given over to work, poisoned me. Most days are not that way, but when they are, they are tumultuous. One of the dogs nearly paid the price for my weakness. She escaped with having to endure a more familial-like reprimand; held firmly to the ground being violently growled at. You see, when I first acquired a dog-friend, I was told, “to get them to take you seriously, treat them like a dog, not a person”. That is, “GRRRRRR” says more when said earnestly, than “NO”.
And in the end, I ponder the second spoonful, disgusted that one part of life can bleed over so much into another, yet thankful that yet another was unaffected. The fan still spinning above, tomorrow looms and I question whether maze or labyrinth, longing to dance rather than face another dead end.