Thursday, May 15, 2008


NO; IT'S NOT A LOVELY SONG by Richard Strauss I'm thinking of this morning. A glance at Language Lab this morning turns up some comments on a subject even dearer to my heart: procrastination.
'Morgen, Morgen, nur nicht heute,' sagen alle faulen Leute
("Tomorrow, tomorrow, not today, all you lazy bastards say") is my quick translation.)
Mom used to mutter that under her breath as she moved among the strawberries, the tomatoes, the chickens, the firewood, the tall grass under the clothesline; as she dealt with snarling piglets, truculent sons, and an errant husband. I never really knew what it meant: I never did learn German.

Poor Mom: in those days our life was tenuous, a study in improvisation and, well, procrastination. There were some things could be postponed only so long, like feeding and milking; but most things could be postponed indefinitely, displaced by the unforeseen arrival of more urgent matters.

As the twig, so the tree. Upstairs from the study is the loft, an architectural mistake for me though undoubtedly useful to many. Here we stash things. There's more than one paper bag labeled "To Do On Return." There are piles of read books, most of them fairly recently read and awaiting their next orders -- annotate? summarize? shelve? deaccession (that dreadful word)?

Well, the hell with all of it. We're off today for a week in Los Angeles, seeing plays, hearing a concert or two, seeing friends. Tonight, it's The Night of the Iguana at A Noise Within. If I get around to it, I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

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