Tuesday, May 1st, 2007 http://adamkhan.net/rambles/daily-yin
pon awakening, the bedroom here is far from the best I’ve had. One writes this because last time in “Wetherspoones and Raisins” I chronicled the day’s two outings from the house. But these were merely the two brief yang bits of the day. What of the yin, the not-being-out that comprised the rest of the day? As usual, it seemed too mundane to bother thinking over, an unsculpted routine that nonetheless is what constitutes the majority of waking life. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans and all that. Since we have to move out of this house in a month’s time, it will be all-change once again, or at least, the milieu will change, and with it many details that will be lost if I don’t get them down while they are still what I do every morning, noon and night.
There are so many artifacts that carry through from previous times. My bicycle. Since getting it tuned it runs a dream and I’m using it more and am shocked a little each time that this constant remains from previous eras and yet so much else has changed. I can’t remember the specific moment, can’t remember where I was when I had the thought, probably Florentin in south Tel Aviv, but I remember walking with the bike, a light touch on the saddle as I enjoyed letting the front wheel balance, and Maddie or both Maddie and Jam alongside me, and thinking, this is all a man requires, or at least, all I require. The bike I still have, as right as rain as when I rode it on my magic commute from Tel Aviv to Hod Hasharon and back when it was new, and yet Maddie is gone. It’s a twinge each time. How come I have the bike still but no more is the psychic constellation of which it was an integral yet slightly outer-circle part? It’s a combination of pleasure and guilt, looking at the bike now. Interestingly, I didn’t have that feeling before I got it back from the shop all tuned up. Now it’s alive again.
On television I saw a promo for a programme about short people. One of the subjects said there are advantages to being short. I could only name one: comfort on airplanes. But I see one other: the geometry of one’s bicycle is awfully cute. At Even Sapir in the Judean Hills I found a great spot to store the bike. Guess where the bike is, I asked my Mum on the telephone. And she bloody guessed. Stuck vertically in the space between the fridge and the kitchen cabinets, she said after a beat. How does she do that?
She’s here in town right now with my sister, and my Dad’s coming tomorrow. Coincidentally, it’s also my birthday. 37. All three are fine. It will be the first time the four of us have been together on motherland British soil since March 1981. It could also conceivably be the last. The overwhelmingness puts me in anaesthetized mode, so it’s a good day to take a breath and review the yin wafts of current hereness.
So. The bedroom is far from the best. First, the window is a piece of crap. It’s always closed at night, because it’s difficult to open, and because in the morning the noise is horrendous from the truck beneath the window doing whatever it does at Wagamama’s service entrance. I prefer sleeping with an open window no matter the temperature outside. This is another piece of wisdom gleaned from the first half of Moby Dick. It’s no fun being warm in bed if there isn’t one little bit, probably the nose, that can feel the cold.
So that’s always a bit of a disappointment of a morning. I can’t check the sky out first thing. The bedroom in Rome had a spectacular window (squint and you might see the angels populating the window) though I didn’t like that bedroom with its hideous fitted cupboards and light fitting.
And of course, upon arising I either say it aloud as a mild lament or, even worse, forget to say the joyous phrase I’ve been saying for years: “Good morning to doggies,” though for most of the last 20 months it’s been the rather less happy “Good morning to a doggies.” Today at Waterstone’s I pointed out to my sister Emeline the difference between the opening first sentence of Kipling’s Jungle Book (full text) and an abridged version.
It was seven o’clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day’s rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips.
You feel what it’s like to be a dog waking up — in fact it’s likely you feel the tips of dogs’ paws in comfort for the first time in literature. Emeline was impressed.
Remembrance of Maddie and Jamfulness over, I then enjoy the rough dark wooden floorboards of the bedroom, and anoint my feet with the thick green slippers from the SMA supermarket in Italy. I look at them every day but nonetheless had to look at them again now to see what’s actually written on them. ACTION. You’d think one would remember, if only for the irony of having it embossed on slippers.
After rising it’s time for the morning struggle to not check emails/newsfeeds/news websites/site updates first thing. Reflection or output please, before input! More often than not I lose the battle while the kettle is boiling. Occasionally I wonder at the superbness of the black MacBook that is my external nerve center. I love the pill/lozenge finish, all rounded corners. I love the graphicalness of the interface, such as the bouncing applications as they open. I love the keyboard, how low a profile the keys are: chiclets that work. I love the fact that as well as being the most gorgeous interface ever, it’s also a Unix machine, a real computer in the tradition of computers.
For my first test of the day as a day, I open the back door and step outside to the little patio to see the sky and feel the air. I realize not everybody does this, so if people tell me I’m a miserable bastard perhaps this little habit will reform their minds.
More often than not, and despite knowing it’s not really what my body needs or wants, the first thing I ingest is black tea of one kind or another with milk. Occasionally I’ll head over to Starbucks instead and have a latte. There was a time I’d go all the way to Red Roaster because the coffee is better, but there’s no wifi and it’s far. And I’ll be honest: I stopped going after we went to one of their music nights, for which we paid £5 to enter, and the music was cruelly awful. I felt a pathetic idiot for being there. It made me think the place is froufrou and pretentious at least as much as it is solidly good. Actually, I need to start going again.
Well, from there the day dissolves and I fall inside the computer either working or procrastinating working. That needs to stop, doesn’t it? If one works on a computer, one needs to not use the computer when taking a break from working. Otherwise the days, weeks, months and even years leave little trace.