Saturday, October 20, 2012

I call for the Pied Piper

A mouse popped out from behind my chair while I sat in my consulting room last night.  In my dream this mouse was soon followed by another mouse and then by another.  They were fearless.  They cavorted on the floor between me and the woman who was consulting me.  Then one slipped out from behind the cushions in her chair.  

I should call for the Pied Piper.  

Last week, during a cleaning frenzy my youngest daughter found a dead mouse behind the piano.  It must have been there for days.  We had noticed one of the cats earlier in the week chasing after something in the laundry, but whatever it was had hidden under the fridge and so I presumed it had escaped. 

Lo and behold, it showed up dead behind the piano, at least I assume this was the one.  Then last night I noticed another of the cats under the bench at the far end of the kitchen in stalking mode, but I ignored her.  

When I went to bed  I came across a small dead mouse in the middle of the hallway. Presumably, the one the cat had targeted earlier.  I followed my husband’s lead when he disposes of dead animals. I took two plastic bags, one inside the other, and picked the thing up trying hard not to notice too much how it felt.  I disposed of it in the outside bin.  Maybe I should have buried it but then I'd have needed to look at it again.  

It's no wonder mice came into my dreams last night.

It’s spring here in Melbourne, the warm weather is on the rise though we have had several cold days.  Mice seem to thrive at this time of the year.  Maybe they plan to leave their inside cubby holes for the outside.  Our cats are good at catching them. 

But psychically in my dream, what do these mice mean?  Could they be anything like the million little things I have in the back of my mind to which I must attend? 

There’s an account from the computer fellow who helped reinstate our printer that arrived on line rather than in the post?  I must print it off before I can pay it. 

I do not go in for online banking as much as I should.  I prefer the old fashioned way, the cheque in the envelope.  I know it is outdated to use this method.  I could pay all my bills on line and although I have done this now a few times I still feel uncomfortable with this method.  I am a luddite. 

I have several writing projects on the boil, writing that needs my attention but life gets in the way. 

Tomorrow we drive up to Healesville to scatter the ashes of my brother in law who died earlier this year.  I had wanted to wait till Christmas time till we could find a day of some significance but we could not decide on such a day and my husband’s sisters who are largely responsible for this event are keen to scatter their brother's ashes now in the mountains behind Healesville where he once enjoyed his happiest times. 

 The day should be fine enough.  There is something special and important in scattering ashes but the thing that plays on my mind is the decision we made a week or so ago that our youngest daughter, who is learning to drive, will drive my car into Healesville as a first foray into country driving. 

These days, in Victoria at least, young people must clock up some 120 hours driving experience before they are eligible to go for their license.  They must account for the hours in a log book, and include all varieties of driving conditions, in rain, at night and twilight, by day and dawn, on freeways, on country roads, in the city and on gravel.  So far she has clocked up some 93 hours but most of it has been in the city and suburbs. 

This will be our first attempt to move further afield, and although I tell myself I should not feel nervous, I do. 

I imagine I am not so unusual in this preoccupation with the things that lie immediately ahead of me, the things that play on my mind and skip into my consciousness from time to time like mice, annoying me and bothering me.  They eat away at my confidence and I tick away the days until each task is completed.  I’ll be glad when that’s over, I say to myself.  It has long seemed to me an appalling way to live one’s life, ticking away events like so many tedious chores.  

It’s not always like that though.   There are also the pleasurable events, the ones to which I look forward, the ones I want to arrive sooner, but they go so quickly and all that is left is the pleasant tingle of memory. 

I had one such experience last Wednesday when I finally came to wear that floppy hat in my graduation.  At the time, although I had so looked forward to this event, it did not seem so special, but now in retrospect I look back on it with enormous pleasure. 

And still I'm no closer  to making sense of all those mice?  
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