At 5 this morning, when I awoke in horribly untimely fashion, and me with nowhere in particular to go today, I was busily composing today’s post in my head. It was getting away from me, too many directions with not enough discipline, as often happens (sometimes even in the actual posts), and so, instead of reaching for my computer at 6, I turned on the TV.
This could have been a mistake, although in a grand universe and me with nowhere in particular to go today, perhaps not an awful one. I was on the SpongeBob Channel, which is only the SpongeBob Channel at night. I believe this morning it was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Channel, and since I can never remember if it’s Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles or Mutant Ninja Teenage Turtles I moved on, scrolling down the dial that we established the other day hasn’t been a dial in decades.
I was aiming for the Denver news, but since I don’t really need a full hour of weather and traffic reports I wasn’t worried if it was going to take me half an hour to get there. I lingered on Turner Classic Movies, and there I got stuck, mired in suave 1960s romps with sophisticated British actors playing at cat burglary.
I arrived nearly at the beginning of Gambit, which I’d never heard of, with Michael Caine convincing Shirley MacLaine to assist him in the heist of an ancient Chinese bust owned by an Arab, played by the non-Arab Herbert Lom. Ms. MacLaine, who was in every scene for the first half hour, did not have a single line that entire time, although eventually she got to say things. And squeeze her lithe dancer’s body into a cage the bust was secured in.
I did veer away for the national headlines on CBS, but on the first commercial break I was back, soaking up 1960s intrigue. And then I nearly got caught for the entire remainder of the day: next up was The Pink Panther, with David Niven as the criminal mastermind, to be followed by A Shot in the Dark and The Pink Panther Returns. In fact, instead of writing this, I could be spending the entire day in front of my TV set, me with nowhere in particular to go today.
Reluctantly, though, I turned the TV off mid-intrigue (and only 40 minutes late for Na Ki’o’s insulin), but it may have been too late: the mood for the day seems to be set. It is sunnier than promised, and so far none of the rain or snow I was told to expect, which in a way is a shame. If it were gray and snaining I doubt any of you would begrudge me lying around on the couch watching Peter Sellers bumble his way into outsmarting the likes of David Niven.
But yesterday I was rather industrious, tightening up objects in the new shed to make a little more space in the garage, and I had thought to continue my progress, me with nowhere in particular to go today.
So I obediently hopped into my shower, where I spent time with Mary Oliver. This is not quite as salacious as it sounds: Ms. Oliver is a poet, and Colorado Public Radio was featuring her. There was a little clip of an interview she gave, and then she read her poem “Wild Geese,” which began, she confessed in her interview, as a writing exercise. I’m not sure why it was presented as a confession — lots of good things can come out of writing exercises — but there you have it.
And then, although they couldn’t dig up the poet himself, I heard a reading of a selection from Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.” All of this seemed to be part of CPR’s theme of the day, “gratitude.”
And while I should practice gratitude — really, we all should, and every day, not just the one day of the year we purposely set out to overstuff ourselves with food — I can’t help but think that no matter how I fight it, today is going to be one of lassitude rather than gratitude.
I suppose I could practice both and lace my attitude of lassitude with gratitude. It shouldn’t require too much effort to come up with things one is grateful for: family, friends, a new house, even something perhaps taken for granted such as the means by which to afford to purposely overstuff myself with food.
I am grateful for poets, such as Mary Oliver and Walt Whitman, and in perhaps a less intellectual moment I am grateful for movies, which now I generally sleep through but once meant a great deal to me, and for the television that now is the exclusive means by which I watch movies.
There is more to be grateful for, I’m sure, but the 16-hour post-turkey stupor is setting in, the lassitude swallowing up the gratitude, and me with nowhere particular to go today . . . well, it might be time for a nap, with or without the TV on. The garage, and ambition, are just going to have to wait.