Friday, January 4, 2008.
-4° upon waking.
Make coffee 6:30 a.m., Allen makes the fire. Breakfast on thin German bread and one fried egg. We have butter. Allen to the dentist. Below zero so I change my mind about snowshoeing at the airport while they work on him. I stay home vacuuming rugs, sweeping the yellow pine floors with dust mop and broom; wash the towels and Allen’s clothes. Throw them into the dryer.
The novel in which I am currently buried is A Small Town in Germany, by John le Carré, not an american-o-phile.
Paraphrase: Americans are troublesome for their emphasis on the future; destroys the present, doesn’t it? (p.146)
I like what he’s doing with future-present-past in this book. The “recent future” he calls its setting. Is there any actual treatment of the future as there can be of the past . . . as two separate documents? The future has not documentation. No matter what we imagine our current action will produce—it won’t happen. The cosmos is too complex. Results will be better, worse, tragic, nuanced, or completely, unthinkably, different,.
I like more and more the act of documentation yet it can be carried too far, overemphasized. But there is a reverent place for it in all our lives. With this documentation of the past, one can make the future more interesting to inhabit in the present it becomes. I can’t say how poor life would have been without the documentation of CSL, J.R.R.T., Twain, et al.. Their rich lives and work have helped to furnish my poor intellect and imagination . . . more so than just about anything else, except the KJ V.
I make several calls trying to find a snow rake with long handle to pull snow from our roof: Snow makes an ice dam underneath fluffy but weighty snow, and will damage the structure if not attended to. This is our own home, not that of a Massachusetts landlord. Many old swaybacked houses in Maine on account of these heavy snows: one of the first things I noticed besides the different way of speaking from Pennsylvanians. Landlords here require tenants to keep snow off roofs.