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This one is inspired but somethings I wrote in yesterday’s post. I mentioned some friends are touring South Africa and displaying spectacular past times such as safaris, nature walks, local wineries, and now penguins – comparing them to the ones they saw on their recent trip to Antartica. It got me thinking “am I envious? and what does a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer tell me. Since I have no psychoanalyst or therapist to bounce this by (worse luck!) I turn to writing to sort out my thoughts. Spo

I can never determine whether or not the things that bring me pleasure nowadays is a sign of wisdom or implosion of options to smaller channels. What’s available to me are mawkish pleasures; nothing right now is ‘major’. On the positive – and getting away from judgment for a moment – what makes me feel good are things readily available, inexpensive, and frequent – like my men. While not shameful endeavors none are specular or profound. I would feel squeamish to disclose them at a disco pool party, in response to the question: “And what floats your boat?’. Here though the Spo-fans and drive-by readers may find them amusing (or boring).

Sharpening a pencil. First of all there is the ‘feel’ of the pencil in the hand, and the smell of the wood – mine are made from cedar – and the anticipation of the sharpening process itself. My stand-up pencil sharper rests upon a foundation made of rubber with a metal lever that you turn to create a suction that makes a sudden ‘suck’ sound to ensconce the sharpener to the table prior to inserting the dullard into the opening between two metallic cylinders of swirling blades. As you slowly turn the handle, it releases a ‘grrr’ sound and shaves of carbon-tipped wood fall into the plastic holder releasing a redolence that can only be described as ‘sharpened penci’l. You slowly remove the pencil to smile at the sharp symmetrical point that had been created. One goes back to what you were writing, and you can feel and see the difference this makes compared to the last sentence down that was composed prior to this ritual. *

Old books. Old books are quite sensual that they have a feel to them and a ‘crack’ sound in the spine as you open one. With old books one wants to periodically put your nose in between the pages and take in the aroma of ink and old paper. This is especially true with books you have read before; it is like meeting up with an old time friend or lover whose aged some but still splendid to touch.

Harper’s paws. Sometimes when I am lying down next to her the only part within reach is a back paw. I hold onto it, squeezing it a little. The fur is soft and remarkable while the pads in contrast are hard and firm. The claws at times are sharp making it a threesome of textures.

The hum of things washing. This one is experienced from afar viz. while sitting in the office chair or in the bedroom. I can hear in the other room the dryer going or the dishwasher humming and sloshing. Both have warmth to them as well. There is a quiet satisfaction to hearing things getting clean.

Drawers of folded clothing. My clothes drawers are orderly done with a precise folding application that upon opening the drawer one sees socks, Tees, and undergarments folded in rows and columns that reveal them all at once so I know what’s there. As I tend to put the freshly folded things in front and take those in the back out for next use, there is a turnover to watch. A neat orderly presentation like this gives me a small sense of wellness.

There are many others like the act of brewing a pot of tea.** They have in common of sensory inputs along with an inner peace. I may not be able to travel to faraway lands or attend local disco pool parties but I can write in my journal with a sharpened pencil with pot of tea besides me, while Harper sleeps nearby. I just heard the dryer is done; I will attend to that now.

And what floats your boat? What are your mawkish pleasures?

*After finishing composition I reread it for errors and was struck by the sensuality this sounds. I suppose sharpening my pencil serves for sublimation for other pasttimes.

**This one has the pleasure of taste as well.

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August 2022

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018