When I was a new violist, one of the most intriguing and transgressive things to do was to play a loosened string. Take the peg of, for example, the D-string, and turn it clockwise a bit. Or a few full turns, while you’re at it! The string’s voice shifts to a low “flub, flub” as you pluck it. If you play it with your bow, it says, “bthuuuuuuuuh.” Sounds only a young violist could love. Certainly not your conductor/instructor, who swoops in and snatches up your instrument, scolding, “Don’t touch the pegs!!” while all the time twisting, tightening, tuning that D-string back to a D.

(I did not, personally, transgress. I watched others transgress and borrowed their instruments. Or gleefully enjoyed when circumstance knocked my peg loose… there’s something savory about saying, “I didn’t touch my peg!” in outraged innocence.)


Over the summer I shifted my gears from action to presence, which aligned deeply with my priorities—to stay in the moment with my B was a wonderful gift. But it was never meant to last. As My Sweetie heard about during our Alaskan weeks, I can’t do that In Real Life. Not each day, every day, all day. At some point I crave (a) writer-time, which might or might not involve stringing visible words together and (b) a bare-bones sense of accomplish-ment, such as one gets from crossing tasks off a list. Preferably many tasks, within the span of one [day | afternoon | hour]… . Naturally, the higher the ratio of tasks to time, the snazzier the accomplished feeling. It’s a great buzz.

I had it in my head, then, that I would return from [Alaska | the summer] and stride briskly into my Real Life of three new classes to take, one new class to facilitate, and volunteer work hither, thither, and yon, plus knocking out whatever items had stacked up.

Um, no. That is not what happened last week. I think my life tempo is, like that D-string, currently loosened beyond playability. Flub, flub, bthuuuuuuuuuuuh.

At lunch today, as my friend L and I were catching each other up in our Septembers, I mention last week’s laxness. How I spent perhaps six hours on homework for two classes, where the appropriate expectation is 7 hours per class. We were going quickly, so I didn’t mention the backlog of actions for Hither, or Thither, (Yon’s activities being confined to the job-site)… or my household.

She raises an eyebrow, smiles in the sweet way she has, and says, “Well, sounds like the party’s over, Kimbol. Get cracking!”

I have not yet gotten cracking. I am, however, mildly encouraged that this afternoon I’ve already upped my pace to something more brisk than last week’s amble.

Maybe I can tune myself up, evoke that giddy swooping noise of tensioning up to proper pitch and resound with a proper D, by Wednesday. As M says as she laughs, “Hey, #SquadGoals!”

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