Saturday, September 5, 2009
I have to share a quote from the book I am currently reading. The book is Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. Yes, it's another Scandinavian novel, set in Norway, near the border with Sweden. But it's not another bloody murder mystery. To set the stage, a 67 year old man has recently moved from Oslo to a backwoods cabin, which he wants to take time to fix up himself. His story is revealed throughout the book, so I don't know yet what brought him to this point in his life, except that he and his wife were in an accident about three years ago. He was badly injured and his wife died. That would be enough to make a life change. He says he does not want to hire the work done on his fixer upper because "then it would have gone too fast. I want to use the time it takes. Time is important to me now, I tell myself. Not that it should pass quickly or slowly, but be only time, be something I live inside and fill with physical things and activities that I can divide it up by, so that it grows distinct to me and does not vanish when I am not looking." I can't think of a better way to describe what life in retirement is about. I will be leaving my computer for a few days. We are going to Whidbey Island Sunday for the annual Phosie-Gertie Picnic. Some of you may remember that this is a family picnic named after two sisters who were grandmothers and great grandmothers and great-great grandmothers to all of the cousins that will be attending. Rain is in the forecast, and the number attending will be down this year for various reasons, but the hugging and talking and catching up, and the eating, of course, will still take place. We will be staying on into the week at the cabin. I intend to do "physical things and activities" and make sure the time spent is "distinct", even when it is spent reading my book. And, of course, I will take pictures.