The whole-meal bread of life
My festiveness was utterly crushed by a bout of stomach flu (this on top of the colds we already had), which though mercifully brief, was violent, and then was followed by another cold, this one all CHESTY and PHLEGMY. Poor Bunlet is having a particularly rough time of it, some days just dragging himself around wailing and then falling asleep somewhere pathetic. Having my mother in law and sister in law and dog in law around didn’t help, though at least they could choose to attribute my total lack of enthusiasm over their visit to illness and not loathing, which made me feel slightly less rude. And when they left, it was a relief to ONLY be sick.
I’m at work today because I’m terribly behind. But I am not working, I am writing this. I’m suffering from a shortage of intellectual energy that has some obvious explanations (I’ve been sick for a MONTH now!) but I fear I will never feel vital again. Ever.
I am out of library books* so am rereading what I’ve got lying around**, and recently came upon this passage, which made a much stronger impression on me now than ten years ago. The character is talking about how happy her life is, how much she has to find joy in.
“And yet, when I consider my life, day by day, hour by hour, it seems to be composed of a series of pin-pricks. Nannies, cooks, the endless drudgery of housekeeping, the nerve-racking noise and boring repetitive conversation of small children (boring in the sense that it bores into one’s brain), their absolute incapacity to amuse themselves, their sudden terrifying illnesses, Alfred’s not infrequent bouts of moodiness, his invariable complaints at meals about the pudding, the way he will always use my tooth-paste and will always squeeze the tube in the middle. These are the components of marriage, the whole-meal bread of life, rough, ordinary but sustaining” –The Pursuit of Love.
That’s about the size of it. Contemplating another year of whole meal.
Happy new year.
*Got any favorite not-in-any-way-GRIM books for dark days? I love all the genres, just can’t handle books that will make me want to be DEAD.
**Wow, Anna Karenina after having children is very different from Anna Karenina before having children.