Saturday, November 28, 2009

Live the question, be the answer

The old homeplace...

I came across this list of questions recently. I like lists. I like the places questions like this lead me. I like rereading the answers years later and comparing then to now.

1. A person opens a fortune cookie ~ what does the fortune say that you have written?

Your good is coming to you now. I like that phrase - it can mean all manner of things from what's good for me to what I think is good. Covers all bases.

2. You are having a long lunch at the TimeTravel Diner ~ what three people from history will be joining you?

General James Longstreet (he’s a relative and we can talk strategy), author Richard Bach (so we can talk about Illusions), and Albert Einstein (so we can talk about everything).

3. What has been the primary area in which you have worked and what other job would you be most interested in pursuing?

I am an author and a teacher simultaneously and have been for years. I’d like to be retired with time to sleep in on rainy mornings; I'd like to get in my car some day and just keep going until I tire of traveling, then I'd like to come home and rest; I'd like to search for rare, unnamed plants in the forest and get paid for it; I'd like to learn to play a musical instrument and jam with fellow musicians late into the night; I'd like to play one whole day with a bunch of three year olds. I've been working since I was eleven - now I'd just like to be a volunteer rather than pursue any one job.

4. The last thing you had to eat was what?

A piece of pumpkin pie.
Well, that was this morning when I started this. Now it's past dinner time and I've just polished off a few Thanksgiving leftovers.

5. What has been the most memorable musical performance you attended live? When was it?

I watched Arlo Guthrie (who lives down the road apiece) perform a long, long time ago. He sat at a piano on a stage in a small theater in Vermont and the audience danced in front of their seats and in the aisles and in front of the stage and in the back of the theater and out into the streets.

6. Your favorite fragrance is what?

The earth after rain, the scents of most flowers, almost anything on the BBQ. (I am allergic to most perfumes.)

7. What happens to you when you die?

You change form. All that electricity that keeps us alive has to go somewhere...

8. What do you collect?

Mixing bowls, old kitchen utensils, books, friends, ideas.

9. You have the opportunity to spend one day anywhere in the world ~ where do you go?

Somewhere cool and green and shady. Home - I'd love to go back to the old homeplace but for far longer than a day. I want to stand again on Bredon Hill in Birlingham, I want to see the French countryside and spend time in Italy. But if it's just one day, let me go back home.

10. The thing you find most interesting in nature is what?

That it exists at all. The known world is so intricate, so interdependent, so varied, so bent on surviving, and yet everything is crawling, flying, walking, swimming, and hithchiking to its death.

11. Given the opportunity to order one meal {Your last?} ~ what do you have to eat?

If it was my last meal and I knew it, I wouldn’t be able to swallow so that’s a moot point. Now, if you’d asked, “Given the opportunity to have my favorite meal,” I’d have said whatever I happened to be eating at the time. I love food (except for avacados and artichokes. And fishy fish).

12. The first thing that comes to mind when you see the word romance is what?

The word, 'novel'. Maybe I've been living alone too long?

13. You are getting a tatoo {or another one}? Where are you getting it and what will it be?

No, I’m not. I never did see the point of marking or marring, or decorating the flesh. Except for clothes, of course. But I wear no makeup, no perfume, no jewelry, no tattoos. I would have made a good Quaker, I think.

14. Friday night, what is your favorite thing to do?

Depends on the hour and the company. That goes for any night now. Friday night when I was a teenager was something to look forward to. There was no homework, no school the next day. It had the aura of freedom about it. Anything could happen on a Friday night.

15. The last television program you watched was what?

I have a TV set for watching videos and DVDs and though the landlord hooked me up with cable last year, I rarely watch anything other than the news and old Seinfeld and MASH reruns.

16. What do you find most confusing in life?

I’ve read several rational explanations about how life started on earth but I still want to know why. I've read any number of explanations for that, too, but they are all wanting.

17. What question do you wish had been on the list? And what is the answer?

Do you think life has meaning beyond the urge to continue?

Only the meaning we ascribe to it. There are so many ideas about that. It makes life interesting if not comprehensible.


Marion said...

I love your old homeplace. I would want to return home, too, if I could.

This is a great list, and your answers are succinct and evocative. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Pauline, thank you!

Land of shimp said...

I liked reading your answers, Pauline. These sort of lists never appeal to me when I'm meant to answer them, but I always enjoy reading the answers of others. It's just a nice set of windows into other people, what roams around in their minds.

Molly said...

The home place looks like a lovely place to go back to....but do you have home people there too?
I like your thoughtful answers. I'm a list maker myself. And a shell collector. I especially like your answers to #3--sleeping in on rainy mornings; driving to wherever; being able to make music.....and #6.
# 7 bothers me. I grew up with such a bullet proof set of religious beliefs, it bothers me that I am now questioning them so much......

Pauline said...

Molly - the home folks are not there, no. The house was sold years ago. My brother lives next door so when I go to visit, the homesickness I feel for my old home rises up like a suffocating hand. I have never ceased to miss the place.

I, too, grew up with fierce religious strictures but began questioning early. By now I have shed most of the "teachings" and have acquired my own set of mongrel beliefs that change every now and then. I am sure we could have an enlightening discussion about belief.

LOS - usually I try to steer clear of such posts but these questions intrigued me. One can often learn much about oneself when trying to answer...

Marion - I was aware of loving this house even when I was a small child living in it. I've been gone from there (just 3 miles away) for a number of years now and yet I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Meggie said...

Like you Pauline, I have a set of my own 'mongrel' beliefs. I also keep changing just what I do believe. I enjoyed your post, with it's many thoughts.

Pauline said...

We have a mutual admiration society going, Meggie :)