Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Life As Good As It Gets

I’m sitting in a corner of my porch, on the north side where it wraps around the front of my house, barely visible from the street behind the trees on my lawn and the massively untidy bougainvilla in full flower that is invading. I am having an illegal cigarette out here (I officially quit last August) to facilitate revisions to a paper I’ve had quasi-accepted by a journal. I am drawing wifi from the house.

My bike is here, locked to the porch rail, and the bike pump in which I invested that has a special fitting for skinny racing-bike tires (my bike is a very elegant looking, ultra-slim, drop-handle bar racing bike that’s even lighter than the usual because it’s extra small). It’s splendidly sunny and I’d estimate in the ‘60s, most of the foliage is green and even the hanging baskets at the front of the porch are in flower: there are some advantages to living in Southern California. I’ve locked the gate from the back yard so that my dog (chocolate lab) can’t bug me but I go in every once and a while to scratch him and tell him what a good retriever he is—which he appreciates. The birds are singing—and my cats are lurking in the undergrowth…waiting.

I probably won’t work out today. But I hope I will get to playing the piano a little and going through the French learning program I have on my computer.

About 30 years ago I resolved that I would never get used to how good things were when they got good or forget how bad they could be and, laus deo, I never have. The simple fact of being able to organize my days as I choose, to do what is in effect piece work rather than punching a clock, being stuck in a place looking busy when there’s nothing to do, is about 80% of what makes it as good as it gets. The rest is probably evenly divided between my computer, my papers, my bike, my house, my family and my animals.

That’s about it: no moral to this story. I can’t fathom what more anyone could want, except possibly an additional lab and more cats.

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