The In-Between

Life is cyclical. There are events of note, and there are the in-betweens.

I’ve been reading the blog posts I wrote three years ago, when we moved into a period that was, for many people, nothing but the in-betweens, yet at the same time, we were in the midst of an unprecedented event. And for others, it was not an in-between, but an end.

I’m reading now about the trip I would have taken at the end of March, 2020 to Cincinnati for Shostakovich’s 8th Symphony, just a week after one to Chicago for Shostakovich’s 7th. Three years later, there is a planned trip to Chicago for Shostakovich’s 8th. In a way, that circle will close out, as will the one where I would have heard the Shostakovich quartet cycle in Banff. Instead, in just 16 days, it will commence in Buffalo. With that, perhaps, the unicorns mostly captured, the search will slow down (although perhaps not entirely cease).

This is an in-between time–but of a shorter, more ordinary sort. Saturday, I helped run the first live SCA event I have assisted with since events resumed, and my husband and I got to beg a boon for a dear friend. It went smoothly, even if we found out after the fact that there was another room that would have been absolutely perfect for an A&S event at the school, rather than the small and rather echo-y gym we got. No matter–the event was a success. Yesterday was HeritageCon at CWH, where I got to geek out at some amazing scale model work. I particularly loved the dioramas–everything from Russian soldiers having a party (with wee vodka bottles) to a market scene in wartime Vietnam, to various scenes in bombed-out buildings, to a fabulous and unusual scene of the premiere of Verdi’s opera I Pagliacci. One modeller had turned a plastic Fisher-Price toy boat into a very detailed and painted model. There was a lighted Imperial Star Destroyer (and a few members of the 501st to provide support), some really amazing space vehicles, a tiny painted Chicken of Fate, and just masses of cars, tanks, ships, and planes. Plus we tour guides, along with the staff, got a free lunch. And today? Working on getting the Imaginary April 1 letter entered into OSCAR. Oh, and the dentist (no cavities). Next weekend? The vintage clothing sale, and more Pathfinder. All of these have been done before. Some have returned for the first time. The Imaginary letters never stopped. Somehow, too, in the middle of all this, my fourth DTM.

There are new things: game conventions, for one; one the weekend before last; one to come in April. I’m a little proud of my introverted self for actually enjoying them. There is a class through work I’m looking forward to next fall. There are plans, too, for a vacation in early June. There are things to embroider–a yelling snail, another Shostakovich piece. There is a 1935 jacket to sew–if only the material I ordered would actually arrive. We’re cooking from scratch more now; today was minestrone soup.

We’ve started up Weight Watchers again. Our local studio is closing, so we’re off to Burlington–which is relocating. But I’m back to tracking again. I’ve gained more than a few pounds, and eager to make it go away again. We’ve started walking again, too. That reminds me, too, of three years ago, where for awhile we were afraid to even go out on the trails. The large amount of snow we had in March has almost all melted now, and Felker’s Falls rushes loud with meltwater. The bulbs I planted last fall are emerging, too.

Has it been three years?

I suppose this birthday so recently passed, in particular, as I have passed into the second half of my fifties, has made me more aware of the passage of time, as has the fact that I spend a great deal of time telling people about their pensions now–about what happens at age 65, or if you choose to retire earlier. Those years are coming quickly. Friends are looking much greyer now. Some older friends–and even some friends of friends who are much younger–are being lost from this earth. I am now aware that so much of what I see around me will persist even when I cease to exist–a little sad, a little–something else. \

But that something else is wonder. The rhythm of nature–of events and in-betweens, some regular, some seemingly chaotic–in the longer cycle of life on earth smooths out into slower change. I am part of that, a tiny, ephemeral part, perhaps, but yet a part. And so I go forward, determined to, if I can, to honour that cycle in my every breath, every step.