There is no Silver Threads today and not much of a post except to announce a semi-hiatus until 1 August.
I do this reluctantly. For more than two years, the daily post due here each morning has ordered my day, organized my thoughts and revealed to me, after a lifetime career as a generalist, a topic on which I can be fully engaged, eager to learn more and become more deeply involved and passionate as time goes by.
With the move to Portland, Maine, I put on hold a sizeable project, a professional obligation the deadline for which looms, along with several smaller chits I owe people. I expected, once the move was complete, to catch up. But I didn’t account for either the time involved or the interest I would have in making all the purchases and arrangements to turn this apartment into a comfortable home.
Nor did expect the lure I feel to be out and about exploring not just my new neighborhood and city, but also the coast of Maine, similar in many ways to the northern coast of Oregon where I grew up, and many other places of general, historical and specific interest.
In addition, I was not prepared for how such a dramatic move – from a city of eight million to a town of 64,000; from a tiny, Greenwich Village apartment to a much larger home with more ways of being in it; from a place where all things can be done by walking to another where every requirement and desire involves driving – would change how I want to live.
It rains a lot here, much like where I grew up in Portland, Oregon. It appears, from what people say, that the amount of rain since I’ve arrived is not usual for this time of year but because of it, I have discovered I like to sit outside on my (covered) deck during storms. I like to listen to the rain, watch it, smell it and while I’m there, check the pots of geraniums and lemon balm and thyme that Mary Lee of Full Fathom Five brought by to welcome me to Maine. That uses up more time than I would have guessed.
There are people who love walking the streets of New York City and I understand them; there is something new to see with every step. But I was never one of those people. As much as I walked that city, I always needed a purpose and destination to get my body in motion. But that has changed now.
The Eastern Prom – a trail of several miles along Casco Bay – is just two blocks from my new home. It has already become my habit to be out there walking it early every morning. And now, I’m sometimes being drawn there for another walk in the evenings. More time.
Both of these activities – walking, sitting in the rain – beget quiet thought which leads to more ideas for Time Goes By on aging and related issues that I want to research and write about here.
And because of the move, I missed the two-year anniversary of Time Goes By. I think two years is a much more interesting point to mark in regard to blogging than one year because of the dedication it involves and the development it implies. I want to the time to explore and write about that for TGB.
Most of all, I want a day – regularly - during which I have not a single obligation, nothing I have promised others I will do and no plans or chores or errands of my own. Just wide open, empty hours to use as whim might dictate from moment to moment. I have never had or taken this kind of time. I want to give myself the space to see what bubbles up. What else, besides what I already do, there might be that – like my interest in what it’s really like to get old – I’d like to spend time learning about, knowing and doing in my elder years.
The attraction of these and other notions is sometimes impossible to ignore, but then I feel guilty because I’m not finishing those projects I owe other people and I don’t relish the idea of pulling several all-nighters to meet those deadlines.
And so, the semi-hiatus from Time Goes By. My reluctance is that I relish, every day, the community that has grown here. I didn’t plan it and would not have predicted that it would grow as it has. It came about because you, readers of TGB, created it over the past two years and I now rely on your intelligence, thoughtfulness, humor, kindness and good will in response to what’s posted here each day. I’ll miss checking in with the frequency I’ve become accustomed to each day, but clearing my desk of those other obligations requires that I back away for a few weeks.
During the next month, I’ll post here now and then, but not on a schedule – only when I have something I feel compelled to say. The result should be a clean slate for me and a fresh perspective for TGB when I’m no longer feeling guilty about letting other projects slide.