Monday, November 11, 2013

Appreciation (52)… Whatever became of…?
Torrey Orton
November 11, 2013

Whatever became of…?

So this is what became of us.

Me collapsing on the bed after making it for the thousandth time one would-be stormy night in our Melbourne house and home of forty years… Jane having finished off a story about a projected late-50th graduation anniversary event in France wondering as she considered a classmate’s proposed list of participants, “so that’s what became of X…” and following up with “…and this is what became of us..” rolling around with tear pulling laughter that we have become an expert (not without dissent) bed-making team with clear role delineations (me the sheet layer; she the pillow ironer – a division of labour which expresses the advantages we each bring naturally to the respective tasks) and usually reliable product. Is this what mothers mean intoning the “I wonder what will become of you...” incantation at our teen and early adult selves?

That’s not all we’ve become but the moment captured the perilously fine judgment of having arrived at something, of having become, of finishing…appropriately enough in a life domain that is never finished (housekeeping goes on until there is no one to do it or nowhere to do it – the ultimate declarations of fate completed). And we could rest on the laurels of this moment with no second thoughts.

And what’s becoming of another…

By that chance which is founded and directed by a conjunction of genetic histories and vocational overlaps, a nephew arrived among us for a couple of days in pursuit of his vocation and having arrived in his broader journey at a height of achievements (the world increasingly coming to his professional doorstep in search of his views and his family of four having settled enough to confirm it’s really working …) from which he can look down and back with justifiable self-approval, unalloyed with self-aggrandisement or narcissism.

Nor are we finished becoming, it seems, though there’s talk again about major changes of employment commitment about a year from now. It’s hard to imagine, and there is no pressure to do so, that we’ll ever be seriously retired. That’s what one does when there’s nothing left to do and/or no more capacity, whichever arrives first. On the other hand, I’m getting some feeling for what retired my mean when I am visited by thoughts of camping the Kimberley again, doping similar in Tasmania and puttering around parts of Europe…none of which can comfortably done at length and a therapy practice be maintained. Or so it seems from here.

…but for now this is what’s become of us.

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