blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Longing for a pause

Zen Buddhists recommend that we do one thing at a time, and that one thing with all our concentration. It will take a while before we get to the point where Chris and I can get to the point where I can properly comply with that.

So far this month, not wanting to waste my festival pass for Music and Beyond, I've been at fourteen concerts. I've also attended a series of lectures ("Understanding China") learning about Confucian pacifism, Daoist monasteries, The Needham Question, and so on. Chris has just travelled to the Stuttgart area of Germany and back for some intense business meetings and has just submitted the final proofs of his latest book for publication. Hooray! He's off to Germany again at the end of August, taking me along. Before that, I'm going to the UK on Tuesday for a two weeks' family visit, then coming back to Ottawa to welcome a couple of friends who'll be staying with us here for another two weeks. We have just bought a new car, a Chevrolet Volt (a "hybrid" designated as an Electric Vehicle––it plugs into the mains and hasn't yet needed any petrol) and we have made a start on re-organising our garage by throwing out old junk and ordering new shelves. Sometime between now and the autumn we'll have to have a 240 Volt EV-charger installed in the garage which will require rewiring work done by a professional electrician, and I have asked another contractor to come asap and replace our front steps and garden edges. I must make sure they don't turn up on the same day.

Chris reading on the balcony at nightfall, Ste. Flavie
The Germans have a noun for this lifestyle: die Hektik. Last month and the end of May, after our return from China, were so frantic that I was becoming chronically absent minded and fatigued, making mistakes galore, but before Canada Day, we did fit in a five-day respite in eastern Quebec, flying to Mont Joli in our little aeroplane for the sake of three nights on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, which helped a little. Our room at the Auberge Portes Sur Mer overlooked the beach, so that, as we went to sleep, we could hear the waves breaking. I wish we could have stayed there longer.

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