Monday, October 4, 2010

Whither procrastination?

I know I promised piping and vibrating, tooting and quacking, but they will have to wait. Procrastinating is something a honeybee would never do; she would never even consider it. If a honeybee needs to communicate with the queen, she doesn’t wait until the right time, she heads straight for the queen, presses her body against her and vibrates. If a virgin queen bee needs to express her intention to mortally sting any other contenders for queen bee status in the hive, she does not hesitate, her very life is at stake; she will emit that high-pitched piping sound – A-flat or G-sharp - called quacking. This is to be distinguished from tooting, which is the sound made by mated queen bees, usually soon after they are newly released into a hive.

But I am not a honeybee and procrastination seems to be in my DNA. Or maybe not. For all their myriad weirdness and quirkiness and idiosyncrasies the Aged P’s don’t seem to procrastinate. (I will not use the word FLAW since I know they will read this and never let it be said that I recognize any actual flaws in the parental units.),
So how did I come by this trait? And whom can I blame?

Instead of delving into piping and tooting, I set up my new office here at Purchase, because there are few things I enjoy more than fondling what I still think of as school supplies. And it is a well-known fact that any writer worth her pen nibs can spend all the available time sharpening pencils and labeling folders and aligning pads on the desk at right angles, and in this way avoid the dreaded task of actually writing something. Blank walls also beckon. Today for instance I tacked a poster of Fra Angelico’s The Decapitation of Saints Cosmas and Damian onto the wall. I’ve had this poster for at least five years; I know this because the dates of the Far Angelico exhibit at the Met are printed right there: 2005-2006. I bought the poster not entirely because I morbidly enjoy paintings of handsome young men splayed on the ground as their heads depart their bodies, spilling out their life’s blood and staining the ground red. I bought it because I found it so appealing that the saints in question had intact halos even as they were being beheaded, and then the removed heads rolled away with their golden halos attached and perfectly positioned. I should also mention that I have always been fond of the twins, Cosmas and Damian, third century doctors who performed the first – perhaps only – transplant of a leg. The good leg belonged to a just deceased Ethiopian, and they attached it to the stub of a patient who had lost his own leg. The resulting bi-colored limb was a popular subject for painters. You may find it equally miraculous that the skulls of Cosmas and Damian reside in both Munich and Madrid.
Also adorning my new office are a collection of feathers, large black and white feathers from the gulls of Georgian Bay, and smaller striped feathers from the Silver-laced Wyandottes of our chicken coop.

I would have done all this sooner, the thumbtacks and the filing, but – on another level of procrastination – this morning we were packing up jars of honey for Let it Bee’s first foray into high-end marketing: a selection of five honeys (early and late Manhattan, Hastings, Rye and Bedford), two of our own lip balms and one hand cream, crafted by your truly. CSB made elegant wooden boxes and the honeys and balms are nestled in the finest wood shavings you can buy. Not unlike the wood shavings that cover the floor and line the nesting boxes of our very pampered chickens.

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