Monday, February 19, 2007

Old Woman Reading From a Lectionary

Old Woman Reading From a Lectionary (Gerard Dou, 1630, Rijksmuseum)

As you can tell by the picture, I've aged some in the past few days. (Actually, if you click through on that link, you'll learn that the portrait is ostensibly of Rembrandt's mother. Dou was a student of Rembrandt's.)

My computer glasses broke and I was somewhat taken aback by the hindrance this represented. Fifteen minutes on the machine -- just long enough to check my email and respond as necessary -- and then off quickly before my eyes felt the strain. Composing using a pad and pen was time-consuming; I've lost the knack of it.

The ice outside the house was severe enough that I lost two full days from work, just because it was THERE and impassable. In the office briefly on Friday, but then had to navigate the streets back and forth with mounds of ice as obstacles; I looked like a grey-haired flamingo balancing on one foot while desperately looking for a safe spot to put the other foot down. SUVs were in a rush to get around me in turning corners onto one-way streets and were too impatient to wait for me to negotiate the slippery spots while crossing the street.

The weekend was generally discombobulated. My brain went on the fritz from work-related stress. Books all seemed to contain very big words and very complex concepts. Even putting together a dish of baked ziti seemed a significant challenge as I couldn't follow directions to save my life.

The correct response to all of this seemed to be cleaning the kitchen. Scrubbing pots and pans can sometimes yield up a self-satisfied sense of thoroughness and useful accomplishment. Today the nice man fixed my glasses with no waiting and kindly didn't charge me for the privilege. [Honestly, I had feared he would insist the damage to the ten-year old frames was irreparable, require me to order new computer glasses, charge me hundreds of dollars for unbecoming frames, and then make me wait three days before getting my eyes back.]

Reviews return this week.