Frank Herbert’s Chapterhouse Dune has much that demands me revisiting. Reverend Mother Odrade as she visits Sheanna says that art comforts and reassures people. Please, she thinks, don’t upset me. Just reassure me, she says. And I know what pleases me looking at the primitive painting on my bedside wall of early Americana that I have loved since I first saw it in Sausalito, California 50 some odd years ago and on impulse bought it. I look also at the painting our Claudia did called Hope that I call the young Veronica and relate to it. I love her painting of the Monk because that also reassures me. Reassures.
The reassurance I feel is that physical life is stable. It is a time when living has a continuity, a constancy. Things are in place, in time at a time when living to me are moments and events and a no nonsense daily-ness. There are things to do and people to love and somehow life was of a piece and of a peace. And yet coming to mind are the poems I wrote called Homecoming and Circa 1860 that were not a peace filled nor of a stable time. In Homecoming a part of it was laced with cherishing and later the same Veronica in the poem was saying here is the difference, now see it. And in Circa, there is the love that died. The anger that propelled the entire writing of the poem was vested in the time of it, the 1860’s. And I wrote it with that anger propelling. Was the anger placed in the 1860’s so as not to reveal the anger of the moment? Perhaps the anger from that time was happening still since all time is simultaneous and bleeds through to the moment. Yet the artwork I love is the art that reassures me of a time and place where life was cherished until it faded. That is memory. Life is a tapestry that we create and in the process there will be times when we begin to look back to see the pattern our choices have woven into it.
The history in Chapterhouse awakens many memories. Wood that is crafted and caressed brought to mind days when I would kiss the smoothness of what I polished and waxed and tendered. And the love that my hands transferred from my heart into what I was creating. I sanded what I crafted until it shone and glistened with the smoothness of the grain. I loved creating the wood toys for the grandchildren. What world taught me the art of carpentry? What if wood as we know it now in a future is only a memory? When I picked up the tools I immediately knew what to do. Will I always remember? I blossomed on this earth where the ideas could be manifested as quickly as I thought them. I found myself grounded.
That is what matters with me today . And every day. Ideas I executed grounded me. Chaos erupted with others with their trendy value systems and irrational behavior tried to be exquisitely proper. The undercurrents immobilized me. In their early years when the house in the country was our world, the children and I were in our element. Life was filled with hope and learning and the days were enchanted. We prepared for the holy ways of the holidays and embarked on adventures. Life was pieced and peace-d. We had no cognizance of worlds folding or enfolding. No implicate or explicate universe. We each walked in our world, with a secure cosmic foot in another and were at ease. We lived it; this quantum theory dignifying the growing knowledge. We had our grounding and the world was home to us until we were asked why we were different. We were at home with our books, our visions and ourselves.
In a few weeks I will be 85. My thoughts connect events that appear scattered, but the underlying threads are secure. I wonder if others give thought to these events to see how we contribute to the ongoing process. Do my peers give thought to differences and their addition to growth? Does their reassurance signify an element of connection to symbolize our origins? I am where I need to be and am fortunate. Doing some good whenever and wherever I can. It is only when pointed out that others do not think as I do that I am glad I live with those who love me. As a reader pointed out, there are places where my kind of thinking would not be allowed. This is the only place I can function that is not in a geriatric dying place. It is the best place to finish up my life. I learn new things every day and these are what moth and rust do not destroy. It is an inner world I inhabit. I share it with you. And uneventful is a merciful word.