June 17, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on June 16, 2018

This morning, before doing any of this (sitting down to meditate or to write morning pages), I unplugged an extension cord from the outlet on the living room mantle, and in doing so knocked down a large, simple clear-glass, but prettily footed, classic vase, which of course broke into many pieces as it hit the tiles around the fireplace. One problem, aside from the mess I now have to clean up, is that this vase was one of a pair, and it helped establish a symmetry on the mantle. It was large (maybe 18″?), but classic-simple in design, and above all clear glass, so it didn’t scream “design symmetry!” or anything. It wasn’t expensive, it was an utterly mass-produced piece, but it had that pretty foot: a large glass bulb at the bottom of the flared vase body, which in turn “pooled” into a flat, stable base. Not so stable anymore… Actually, the bulb (or ball) survived. I’ll take a photo of the ruin.

Now my symmetry is ruined, and, like Poirot (as played to penguin-perfection by David Suchet), je suis desolé, or rather, desolée.

The other strange thing is that I knew it would happen before it happened, yet I didn’t stop it. As I went to pull the extension cord, I knew it would knock down the vase. I could have moved the vase 1″ to the side and avoided its destruction, but I didn’t.

Perhaps odder still is that I “knew” this would happen when I chose that outlet yesterday afternoon to plug in my extension cord, chose it over two other easily available and accessible outlets near the baseboard. I thought, “Oh, I bet this will put the vase at risk.” Which it did. Why would I be willing to start busting up the stasis (symmetry) I’ve built up in an orderly way in my house? After I broke the vase, I briefly considered throwing its still-intact mate to the floor, but opted against that move because cleaning one smash-up will be tedious enough. And yet… I have a desire to break some things around here.

I really feel we ought to be living somewhere drier. It rained so hard yesterday, from the afternoon onward and through the night, we thought we’d be swept away in a flood. Unbelievable. And it’s always wet here in the summer – either actual rain or a swampy humidity. I long for a Mediterranean summer of sere heat, crisper and sharper night air.

I managed a long walk before the rains started yesterday, but everything felt engulfed in a miasma. Everyone I saw, including myself, looked sick to their stomachs, as if overcome by a flu. This morning (and hurray for sleeping late) it’s cold, but will creep into the low 70s. And it’s very cloudy, overcast really. A thin strip of lighter silver, miraculously differentiated from the otherwise uniformly flannel grey sky, is visible along the horizon, above the trees. That silver has the classic elegance of my smashed vase’s ball foot.

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