October 2007. Returning from a rainy bush walk on the Mississippi, I cheered myself up, and tested my knees, hips and footing, doing what we used to call a Dutch leap. One of the Middle Eastern contingent exclaimed (I paraphrase), ‘Omg, you can use your body. You bike and swim, and walk for miles.’ (Next day I climbed a tree, too, just for him.) His point was that the writers in his acquaintance smoked and talked and sat in cafes, oh, and wrote. But they didn’t DO things.
Well, he had his own quirks, I’m sure. But I was thinking today about the things we do, and the little ways we have, that make us distinct. And how as we get older, these distinctions grow distincter, until we’re finally ossified in our eccentricities. Does it have to happen like that? How do we forge on, doing what we feel compelled to do in this life, AND remain supple, malleable and permeable, and if not ‘normal’ which doesn’t exist, then at least richly human and approachable?