I remember the day, many years ago, when my son complimented me on my multi-tasking.
“I don’t know how you do it, he said, you prepare and cook a soup and a roast. You supervise the progress of you cooking.. then you jump up and settle down at the computer, after which you remember that you owe a phone call and spend minutes on the phone with Esther, after which you go back to the kitchen to check the stove. You run to the bathroom to rinse a bit of light laundry, after which you sit with Time Magazine, and all this more or less at the same time! I could never do this!”
He is right, he couldn’t. Being a good cook, he often decides to show his great talent. He enters the kitchen like and emperor and looks around if everything is there what he will need. He has a most solemn expression on his face and he closes the kitchen door. No one is admitted there and no noise, no talk, not even a whisper should reach him to interfere with the process of supreme creation and break his intense concentration. In conclusion, my son cannot multitask, he can only task (did I invent a new word now?)
But getting back to my own multi-tasking. Things have changed a lot since that day when my son admired me. Now, after a busy day and finally having reached the evening, I settle down in my arm chair with a sigh of contentment and look around me. This is the time when I can do whatever I please. My favorite TV show will start in about 10 minutes. I haven’t opened to-day’s newspaper yet. The screen of my computer is black with messages which should be answered. A new soft cover crime story written by one of my favorite authors lies waiting on my table.
So what do I do now? Indecision is killing me until I decide…not to decide! I will do…nothing, just stare into the air and think deep thoughts about life. After I’ve thought enough about life, I wonder what should happen next, computer, TV, the newspaper or the book. And then I think that this may be the right time to have another try at meditation because I never got it right. I close my eyes, lean back and force myself to see that pillar of fire which should get me there. I should start to climb it slowly while breathing deeply. I start my climb. Then suddenly I remember Ahuva who told me to-day that I shouldn’t wear hats because I am too short. What the heck why didn’t I tell her she shouldn’t wear any either because she is too tall and a hat adds to her height and with a hat she really looks like a beanstalk? I always think too late what I should have said or done!
I take up my climb again but then I think of this pillar of fire, what happens after I open my eyes, does it keep on shining for other people or is it exclusively mine?
My evening does not go as it should and I am disappointed. Suddenly the phone rings. I look at my watch and see that it is 7.30 which means that Wanda calls from Tel-Aviv. This is going to be the usual half hour of her complaining and yammering as she does every evening at this time. She tells me that I am the only one who answers the phone, all of her other friends not being home.
“I leave messages, she says, I ask them to call me back, but they never do! It’s raining and storming outside, where are they in this weather?”
Decision has been taken out of my hands. I get up to answer the phone.
I spent the Hannukah days attending most lectures and music programs which generally were quite nice. I also spent the holidays bravely resisting doughnuts. Not even one, believe me!
In return, it would be nice to hear from you how you spent these days of celebration.