Why stay here any longer? Why endure this despair? Such questions have draped themselves across my daily experiences for such a long time that now they are just part of the furniture, as they say. Simply another aspect of what happens. Especially since my dear wife died, and my mission as her carer ended so abruptly, those questions have grown so large… So I answer them, pretty much every day, when they intrude into my thoughts, I say to them, ‘Let me wait one more day. Something might turn up, something that at last makes real sense of staying, something that will help.’
And I cheat by lining up my projects, for I have to stay here to see them through, and I don’t want to abandon them, or at least I feel I have some obligation to wait and see how they turn out. It’s a sort of trick I am playing on myself. I cannot go yet, because this project, or that project, like an infant, or like my sick wife, needs me to stay to do these things so that it may prosper. And if it does prosper, is that not a sort of prospering for me also?
But there is such a thinness to that reason for staying. I am starting to see through my own trick. And so I introduce another one, by deliberately reading two or three books at the same time, by trying as hard as I may to find them interesting, by underlining phrases and sentences, putting boxes around whole paragraphs, and writing notes all over their pages. I should not go yet, because I have not finished this book, and even though it is not really of any importance … well, something helpful might turn up, and if not proper answers to my predicament, then perhaps something at least comforting, or just interesting, that for a moment shows me a different perspective, from where I can see the sun shining, like it used to, in my dreams.