In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Inside the Bubble.” A contagious disease requires you to be put into quarantine for a whole month (don’t worry, you get well by the time you’re free to go!). How would you spend your time in isolation?
If I were to be quarantined for a month, I would see it as serendipity’s way of forcing me to confront some tasks I’ve been putting off for too long. First of all, there are the boxes in the garage cupboards that I have been neglecting to deal with for 14 years–old tax records going back to 1964, a life’s correspondence, sets of slides of Bob’s and my art that we used to jury into shows, Bob’s stone carving tools.
Also on the shelves are boxes of art made at the beach and boxes of art supplies from when I was doing art activities with the girls at La Olla orphanage last year. Other boxes of art supplies from this summer’s art camp sit on the floor in front of the cabinets along with assorted things taken out of the back of my car to enable other things to be put into it.
I want to deal with these things. I want my garage restored to its former neat order, but I dread finding places for all the supplies and disrupting my studio I just got back into a semblance of order. And I dread going through those old letters for two reasons. First, because they may be too dull to deal with and secondly because they may not be and may dredge up old feelings, sadnesses or stupidities. But most of all, because I saved all those things thinking I might someday want to write about them and if I read them, I might feel the obligation to do so. Note that I didn’t say compulsion. If I felt a compulsion, it would be wonderful; but then what things would I have to put off doing to make time for this new compulsion? My blog? My art that I haven’t been doing for the past year anyway?
I don’t know why I put off things I would really like to do. I just keep shoving them to the back of my mind, where they niggle at me from the darkness like an especially good chocolate bar saved for last from my Halloween bag of pleasures. They have been stashed for fourteen years or one year or six months. The layers most easily dealt with are on the outside of the dread cupboards, saying, “Deal with me.” Why don’t I do so?
Perhaps it is because something is telling me to simplify and to do only what I want to do. So I do the blog. Overdo the blog. I’m compulsive about it. Is there a prompt left undone? The other thing I’m compulsive about is daily exercise in the pool. Today is overcast and there was no hot water yesterday due to a break in the main pipe, so my compulsion rests for the day. Friends are coming for Mexican Train and comida, so I have a replacement activity. The pork loin and carrots are in the crock pot. Spuds prepared for baking. Lettuce for the salad disinfected and dried. My blog is about written (or so you perhaps hope.) Should I sort just one box? Or do another prompt?
If you have an especially visual imagination, you can perhaps envision me with a thought bubble coming up out of my head. “What to do?” it reads. I sit in front of my laptop at the dining room table. I’m still in my nightgown. Morrie sleeps in a curlicue at my feet. Guests are not due for another four hours. What to do?
If I were quarantined for one month, I wouldn’t have to choose. I’d have time to do them all.
Newer boxes taken out of the car and never dealt with are boxes of art made at the beach and kids’ art supplies that need to