Monday, February 22

extended weekend

The passing and use of time. It's become such a dominant topic of contemplation. At first it was a daily slap in the face as I repeatedly managed to arrive at places when they were closed. Time and time again, after seemingly maticulous care in getting the timing right, I'd get it wrong. But we're past that now.

And we're past acceptance. That point when the quirky hours have finally registered and we just learn to deal. The time when we remind ourselves to do some extra shopping on Saturday to carry us through to Monday afternoon. The time when I was still aware of the shift in temporal dynamics and felt a great sense of accomplishment in having discovered the proper strokes to get my boat with the flow.

Now we're here. And here is something more pleasurable. The peace in my body when my mind resisters chores piling up by Sunday night, after a weekend of homework and random family fun. A ease that registers from knowing that there's Monday for housework. Because it knows nothing else can be done, no shopping, errands or anything from outside the house really. It's all closed, and time is decidedly down time.

Just like Sunday has shifted to family. We're here, taking pleasure in these pockets of time that seem to have presented themselves from nothing. Perhaps a forced hand that carries the lingering stench of Catholic righteousness... but a result that finds me enjoying a better use of time.

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya' about the 'just accept it' part. Hours were A LOT worse, when I came here umpteen years ago. Italy-wide, stuff closed around 12:30, or 1 P.M., and reopened around 4 P.M. Furthermore, in my neighborhood, the baker was open except on Monday mornings. The meat store was open on Monday mornings, but not Monday afternoons. The fresh pasta guy (oh heaven) was open all day Monday (til 5 P.M.), but closed all day on Tuesday. The fruit and vegetable guy was open all day Monday and Tuesday, but closed on Wednesdays, except during the summer, when he was open on Wednesdays, but closed on Fridays AND Saturdays.... And no supermarkets. Now there are supermarkets, and--though the products often aren't as super--it's just too easy to do it all in one schlep (thought lots of housewife/retired types with time on their hands still go to the local open air markets, when one can be found). The little local (and WAY more expensive...that should be frightening, folks, because except for good table wine and good extra virgin olive oil, stuff here already seems to cost a lot more than it does--or at least did--in the U.S.) stores are closing, one by one. The stores that remain open (mercifully, for the customers) are beginning to adopt "continuous" hours (the concept of taking turns to go eat lunch finally dawning). Customer life is getting a bit easier. But I still miss that fresh pasta store around the corner.


...and you may ask yourself, did I get here?