A flush bank account inspired me the other day to buy two new pairs of athletic socks, a spending spree that I hid from my wife until I thought the timing was right.
She chose that moment to confess that she, too, had been prodigal, having taken to the cleaners a wool sweater that needed mending.
We have the examples of Depression-era parents to thank for these periodic urges to live large. But the poet William Blake, about whom I’ve begun reading lately, might not have agreed, arguing that by restricting ourselves so, we shrink our imaginations, and thus attenuate our connection to divine creativity. At least, I think he might argue that way, though I haven’t read far and only with momentary comprehension. Anything that restricts — from within, from without — I gather was anathema to him.
This heavenly day — at last, the first, I think, of spring — has contrariwise nurtured heady thoughts. “Damn,” I just heard myself say, “I’m gonna buy me another pair of athletic socks!”
Neruda once wrote of shoes imprisoning the feet, so at the least I’d like mine to be comfortable in their confinement. I think they may be up for parole in a few weeks. I worry a bit that they may have begun to curl in — I think that’s what happens as you age. Soles — and souls — must stretch, and warmer weather helps in that regard.
All of a sudden — embracing our alter egos, emboldened by the lighter air — Mary and I come and go talking of the Ponte Vecchio. Or the north end of the south island or the south end of the north island.
When? she asks. Who knows? Maybe September, I say.
Meanwhile, things are going well here, everything’s rolling on wheels. We’re raking and currying and dragging and furrowing and clipping and snipping and edging and fledging, pursuing the dictates of the season as we make way for the imagination, now that it’s spring.