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Getting a handle on it

Friends and readers,

A funny phrase, no? on google it says it means "understanding or controlling something." I feel I am beginning to see my way clear. I've been doing too much for too long and that means doing things superficially; skimming this, dipping into that in my efforts to cover so much ground. Now the 3 1/2 days of teaching is gone. I want really to begin to go slowly and carefully more completely to each thing I do. I am so tired of hurrying and resolve to stop. Take time to smell the flowers as Yvette used to like to put it.

Right now one night I'm reading Charlotte Smith's Ethelinde and then later in evening (or vice versa) Graham's Loving Cup; the alternate Kaplan's Dickens and then later in evening (or vice versa) Gaskell's North and South (where the tape has left off -- see below). During the day I'm reading life-writings of Austen's family. Each week a letter by Jane Austen. I will begin Emma soon -- revise my calendar. First will come a book on gothic which I mean to read and write a blog review of, Gothic Wanderer, then Emma alternating with the review of the Acadian Diaspora. Come winter I'll turn in turn to fulfill my two proposals over the spring. S&S in the diaspora."'The idea of making a name for myself in the Republic of Letters animated all my faculties': Found in Translation. This latter will be my door back to women's poetry and translation and reading French and Italian once again (!).

One thing at a time, as slow as it takes. By the summer I should be more settled.  As I finish each book, I'll thread in another you see, so many sitting here for years. Blogs as they seem helpful or fun or stimulating. I've been able to read at night more these past two weeks and I listen to music on radio, NPR.

House projects: I'm going to improve my workroom slowly, a little each day. Begin with putting obsolete files of xeroxes in the attic. Eventually remove broken bookcase and extra thin tall bookcase (now upside down in this room!). Put one library table against wall. I'll need physical help for this.

Spring I'll have someone pull out that gross hedge in the front and maybe we'll (I have to have the Admiral help me here) hire someone to enclose the screened porch and/or fix the bathrooms. Depends how much they charge for the latter two.

I'm going to the gym twice a week with the admiral, and seem to make SpaWorld with Caroline once a month or so (it's so expensive without groupons). IN my car I'm listening to North and South (Claire Willis) and soon I'll put on my ipod Portrait of a Lady to listen to while at the gym (Donada Peters). I've always exerted control there, one at a time. I've got myself David Case reading aloud A Tale of Two Cities. Probably I'll get to that after Xmas.  Night-time movies. Just now Forstye Saga 1967 alternating with Sandy Welch's North and South and movies from Netflix (my last Dennis Potter's Cream in my Coffee starring Peggy Ashcroft). Morning posting. If Yvette is willing, go to good movies in theaters on weekends.

The admiral as bought a subscription to the Lafayette Opera for this year. Our first time buying a subscription. And we'll try the National Symphony Orchestra again. I like music but dislike sitting all the way upstairs and am humiliated to go downstairs in intermission to find a seat. I'd rather not go than do that. We'll go for more plays too and need not just keep to half-price tickets any more.

Looks like a lot but I am getting a handle on it.

Times goes on.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2012 01:24 pm (UTC)
To a friend who wrote:

Some days are better than others -- as you know. It's hard going it alone, marching to the individual drummer.

My old-stand verse from Anne Finch whose poetry I turned to in 1981 when I found myself here in Virginia, stranded as I felt it, with a 2 year old to find friends for (and no car and no one about): "I on myself can live." We can because we must.

We are fortunate both of us over money. I do think I would have regretted the loss of even my small salaries but for this sudden large legacy. It does relieve me -- as it becomes almost silly to work so hard for so little against it. And pay $625 for parking and not be guaranteed a space! Crazy even. She died in time for me (and my girls -- you're right about debt.)

So this morning harder but I'm doing it. Right now on the life of Eliza Austen. As we should call her. There is no adequate book.

I'm going to try to improve my room little by little and today phone some landscaping person about coming to pull out the unsightly (hideous) hedge in the front of our house. How do you cope with the outside of your house?


Edited at 2012-09-25 01:25 pm (UTC)
Sep. 25th, 2012 06:57 pm (UTC)
I am seeing it. When I've done Ethelinde, I can let loose on other novels from other eras, by women, memoirs &c&c. No need to worry about Smith until after Xmas when I'll hear if my proposal is accepted by Chawton person.

I mean to use this as a kind of planner so I remind myself that in these novels for pleasure I should include French & Italian ones I've longed to read for ever so long.

Edited at 2012-09-25 07:10 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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