A Journal of My Mid-Life Crisis
26 October 1997 - When the Saints Come Marching In, Will They Have a Cold Cure?
I'm going to Saint Helena! I finally called Curnow Shipping on Thursday morning and they were fully booked on the February southbound sailing but I was able to get a berth on the July northbound sailing (from Capetown to Cardiff). This may work better anyway, as it means a call in Banjul, The Gambia, which could be interesting. Now I am working on planning other things around the dates of the ship. It's odd to think it will take me nearly a month to get to Cardiff but I am sure that will be good for my attempts to transform my relationship with time.
As an interesting confirmation that this part of my trip is somehow the right thing to do, I went out to lunch that afternoon, maybe 5 hours or so after I had called to make the booking, and on the way back I was listening to "The World" on KCRW on the car radio. For those who aren't familiar with it, The World is a newsmagazine show, created by the Christian Science Monitor, and one of their daily features is a geography trivia quiz. They give a few clues and you have to guess what place they're talking about, then they cut to something else, and then they give the answer. I laughed out loud when I heard the clues, which included that the natives of this British dependency island are called "Saints", the island is so remote that the only way of getting there is via supply ships which serve it several times a year, and its remoteness was responsible for its fame as it was the place that Napoleon was exiled to. The answer being, of course, Saint Helena! I told this to the Bards and they agreed it was a good omen.
It's interesting how this whole issue of needing to slow down keeps showing up in my life. I had a nice day-brightening conversation Tuesday evening under sort of odd circumstances. I was taking out the trash and this guy walking down the alley said "hi" to me and I said "hi" and then he asked me about the sukkah my neighbors had put up and when was the holiday over. I sort of stumbled and couldn't remember at first. But anyway, we went on chatting more generally - first about Sukkot, then about kibbutzim, (and now I think of it, it's odd he assumed I would know much about Israel) then about craftsmanship which led to a discussion of: a) architecture, b) historical preservation, and c) how we live too frenetically. It was a sort of odd conversation to have with a stranger and I was not sure where it was heading, but I enjoyed it. At the end, he introduced himself as David and told me he lives just up the street. Well, he knows which building I live in and I introduced myself, so maybe I will see more of him.
Further signs of the need to slow down are less positive as I had one of these weeks of intense sleep deprivation, which coupled with Mary Joan coming into work despite being sick, made me end up getting a cold. I was sniffly on Wednesday but did my one day trip to Colorado Springs anyway (one very long day) and I had very mild cold symptoms Thursday and Friday. I was okay enough on Friday to keep my dentist appointment (cleaning and checkup - I am trying to avoid the gum problems everyone else in my family has by being fanatical about dental hygeine and regular appointments), but I probably will need to reschedule the appointment I made for Monday to get a filling replaced. The cold viruses hit me full force Friday night, though, and I spent all day Saturday in bed and barely dragged myself out on Sunday for long enough to buy groceries and a few things at the drugstore. I had been supposed to review papers for the IEEE Aerospace Conference but I was too sick. It's a shame as I've enjoyed the past paper review parties - I get to see a lot of what's up and coming and they always serve very good food as our reward. But I didn't think it made sense to go, both from the personal standpoint and from the public health standpoint. I got zinc lozenges at the drugstore and they seemed to have helped a little ... or was it the chicken soup?
Copyright 1997 Miriam H. Nadel
Send comments to: email@example.com