Intermittent mechanical problems (say, randomly speaking, in a furnace that works…most of the time) are excruciatingly similar to on-again off-again lovers. They both keep you riveted with what they offer, and then, just as you’re settling in to enjoy their splendidness, they turn away and you’re left out in the cold. Until the next round.
By the time the furnace man came to fix the dysfunctional machine, the furnace was up and running. It tests fine! He tells me.
I know better. It’s a passing phase.
I spend a good part of the day in my office, making progress with various projects. The campus is almost empty. Cold from an almost complete absence of the human form.
Coming back home, I note that I have taken only one photo (see above) the entire day. I’ve had days like this before. To me, they are typically markers of shoddy effort on my part – not so much in terms of finding inspiration, but in terms of making purposeful detours into prettier (or at least more interesting) terrain. If you know your path home is ugly, diversify! If you know your furnace may not be fully functional, dig out more blankets and cook up a zesty Moroccan stew!
Here is my change of direction:
Not pretty enough? Okay, let me stray further, toward Lake Mendota. Frozen now.
You guys cold out there today?
Not so bad.
You are made of different fabric than I am.
At home, I run into the furnace repairperson.
You’ll be fine now! Have a good week-end!
I close the door, listen to the steady hum of the mechanicals within the furnace and wait.
An hour later, I turn toward preparing a pot of Moroccan stew.