I have a milk crate full of my grandfather's handtools that I picked out years ago after he died. These are tools that are functionally obsolete, such as the two wood planers or the drill that is powered by a hand crank. They are rusted. And the milk crate is heavy and awkard and deposits a dusting of said rust whenever I move it. I'm amazed that I have managed to keep the crate in my possession for the past 25 years.
I feel that as a man of middle age there are things that I'm supposed to have or know or want. A milk crate of rusted tools seems about right, for starters. The sight of certain trees in and around my yard stops my train of thought. I walk outside and approach them and stand beside them and look at them closely. If it is a tree that I've planted myself, I am likely to spend as much time with it as I might my dog or child. I crave certain flavors, like the bitterness in Campari or all that can be found in coffee beans. I sweep the floor because I like the sound of the broom.
I still can’t say I ever really choose to listen to the Beatles (life provides enough of their music, I find, just as it is). I talked Andi away from buying an electric car — gently, cuz I could tell she really wanted to buy the new vw one. I’m less and less capable of small talk but fool most people who are even more burdened by it. And I still haven’t ever tried sardines. Lately, I take notes of thoughts like these and read them later for clues.
I am in a new art studio. It has a west facing window that looks out into my garden. I'll be writing more about all of this soon.