Saturday, January 2, 2010

Incredible Retirement Two

"To those who already have, even more shall be given, while to those who have nothing, even that shall be taken away." Thus the Lord's advice on the subject of spiritual growth, something I have been blessed with all my life, even more after I became a Catholic, in exponential fashion, sufficient to let myself be persuaded that I was almost a master of the philosophy of God's ongoing generosity.
Only an idiot would try to comprehend God, only an idiot would think he had Him in the bag.
Well, although I have never taken New Year's resolutions very seriously - as a Catholic you come to learn that it is the Lenten resolutions that God is looking for, simply because He set up a Church that is set up to provide the real help instead of the guff you get form the average self-help writer - but I have been persuaded, if not forced, to admit that there can be New Year's realizations. God invented time, He is the master of time, and therefore He has the right to start off 2010 with a fresh insight for everyone. Whether they take advantage of it is up to them, but He always does His part and makes the offer, and hopefully, by the beginning of Lent - February 17 this year - we have started to understand what it is.
Of course with Shawn's retirement process going full blast early in December, I had some clues as to what some of my particular realizations might be, and it is true that I had started the second available novel, "Not Without The Angels" by then. But everyone knows that a hurricane always has a direction. Those who have always lived east of it know what to expect if it suddenly decides to reverse its attention from things to the west.
It is not to be expected that Hurricane Shawn will turn her back completely on the local cultural scene, just so she can dote on the latest rumblings from the Parnassus across the morning pillows. Impossible, simply because she has too many friends within the Nelson creative circle, and everyone knows the value and need of the office emeritus. But her retirement does mean that she has more time and energy for some of my stuff and any connections that arise from it, and I have already been profiting from the two weeks that she spent tidying the archives, but without the public, so that more of her thinking went in the direction of the household and its concerns.
Initially, this might seem quite natural, and no doubt all sorts of couples digging in with their retirement situation have similar experiences. In a natural sort of way I was quite prepared myself. After all, "The prudent man is given foresight."
But what has taken me utterly by surprise, where my role as half-wit gets star billing, is the inescapable spirit of complete return to the mood of the days and weeks when we first met and I realized that my life had changed so much once again.
How else could it be explained except by saying that it had doubled? Where there had once been one of me, now there were two!
A lot of this, of course, I can blame on the usual suspects. (Interesting that a younger friend of the family, when last seen by Shawn visiting her in the hospital recovering from a quite serious ski-ing accident) was watching "Casablanca" on her lap top. "Round up the usual suspects." has always been my favourite line from that film.) But in this case the usual suspects are not the criminals of North Africa, but the Trinity, which for reasons much better known to itself than to me, have always played Pig-in-the Middle with my typewriter, binding or loosing the inspiration and permission of the moment in the most abnormal fashion. Not even Shakespeare, who penned "Many a slip 'twixt cup and lip" would have guessed how much his words would apply in my case. The Bard was most certainly king among the playwrights but he was no mystic according to the standards of the Carmelites. His writer's blocs came from Nature, not the iron heel of the Almighty having other, more significant, work in mind. Literature might entertain the universe, but it is prayer and contemplation that keep it from being destroyed.
And yet I have to admit that Providence did have a literary agenda as well, because it knows the lady's unique value to the writer. Nothing could be more valuable than her undivided attention to my concerns. It's probably going to take me six weeks to manifest, in print, what she accomplished along these lines in the first six days of the rest of our lives.
As anyone who has read the beginning posts of the Ranger knows, "Contemplatives" took eight years to complete. Most of the time the words came slowly. But there were also a few months when it went like greased lightning. With Shawn about so much now, that pace might be coming back, forked. The new and updated "Contemplatives" after all is a mere rewrite of sorts, with almost all of the hard labour of creation going into a bevy of fictional characters and situations. NWTA is little more than a stroll down memory lane, with a lot of holy and educated fun, interspersed here and there with just enough devils to make the thing realer, and stranger, than fiction.
And if I had any doubt about getting my butt into gear, it has been taken away by my writing daughters. They can't be allowed to take over all the history of the family, the province, and the culture of the recent decades.


Rebecca S. said...

Did you know that we used to call Pauline Hanbury, "Hurricane Hanbury" when we had the summer school office downtown? I was "Need a Latte Lamb" and our one male colleague was "Token Male Dale."

cabbage ears said...

So. How awful is this concept of God. More shall be given to you if you believe, the less that you have will also be taken away if you do not believe. Always the same with you Ken, as all committed religious. A lack of mercy is also in the province of the believers. Have mercy.Always believe that the glory of a "God" will visit the bleak, the non-believer...the ones who at the end understand. And let the prideful who believe, but believe with pride as their God also feel the spirit of some kind of damning. I apologize, but I don't. God awaits the fornicators, the damned. Amen.