This time I’ve fooled her, “her” being that quirky muse of mine. Apparently she doesn’t know about the International Date Line and time zones. Instead of being AWOL for a couple weeks as she usually is when we return home from our travels, she got me out of bed a half hour after I’d climbed in and just after I’d finally warmed up the flannel sheets.
I’d turned the thermostats down before I left on my trip, you see, and the in-floor radiant heat is warming the house ever so slowly, so the bedroom is a mite chilly yet.
And I do believe all the time zone changes have tricked her because she usually waits until 2 a.m. before shaking me awake to take dictation. Tonight she kicked me out of bed at midnight.
It’s just as well because though my eyes are ready to go to sleep, the rest of me isn’t. Arriving in Anchorage after midnight, I spent the night at Patti’s where we gabbed until three a.m. Then I slept until noon tomorrow. Or maybe it was yesterday. I’m not exactly sure which day or time zone MY head is in yet. Is it tomorrow or the next day that the post office will be open and I can turn in the yellow card to collect whatever package awaits me behind locked doors? Whatever it is, it’s either too big for my large postal box or it requires a signature verifying its arrival.
Maybe it’s “Kangaroo Dreaming,” the piece of art I bought from a shy Aboriginal woman with fathomless black eyes who painted it while sitting on a piece of cloth spread on the dusty ground in Australia’s Outback. Or, it could be the sensuously curved didgeridoo made from a Eucalyptus woollybutt tree and hollowed by termites. (How could anyone possibly resist a didgeridoo made of woolybutt?) Then again, that package behind the gray steel locked doors might be the one I mailed from Queenstown, New Zealand—the one that got my luggage under the weight limit, and not anywhere near as exciting or anticipated as the first two items because it contains only dirty laundry.
Anyway, at first the muse made a suggestion about the Midnight Sun. Then it was a thought regarding the same upholstery on the coach in Fiji as the coaches in New Zealand and Australia, but she threw in a contrast that really piqued my interest. By that time an internal slide show had started up—those ebony eyes of the Australian Aboriginies, the gentle smiles of the indigenous Fijians, the totally unexpected and infectious humor of the New Zealand Maoris.
Koalas, kangaroos, black swans, wallabies, tiny penguins, cockatoos, emus, Tasmanian devils, wombats, cassowaries, galahs…an endless parade of mammals and birds shook the slightest cobwebs from my brain. Snorkeling, hot air ballooning, suicidal jet boating in a narrow river canyon, camel riding, giant clams, and century-old steamboats and railroad steam engines finished me off. Up to the loft I went and turned on the computer.
So, either the muse is completely turned around time-wise, or, like me, she’s so over-whelmed with time well spent in the southern hemisphere that she can’t wait to tell about it. Whatever, she’s on a roll.
As they say, strike while the iron is hot.
May 26, 2008