Friday, February 10, 2012

Another quality

Ruth Gendler wrote a very nice little book, the Book of Qualities. There are about 100, beautifully described. But Gendler missed a few. Here is one she missed:


Containment was born to a woman named Merry, who finds most everything about herself so amusing that she laughs all the time. Containment grew up perplexed because Merry never found having a daughter like Containment amusing at all. In fact, Containment wondered quite often if she had perhaps been mixed up at birth with some other baby.

Containment is older now. One of her few friends is Determination, who she met when she was a teenager. Containment might look buttoned-down, but inside her simple style she feels safe and free. She has grey hair, dresses in black, white, and neutral colors, but loves the warmth of an extravagant red cashmere scarf wrapping her neck in winter, peeking out from under the big collar of her warm black coat. She also loves warm practical snow boots that close with Velcro.

She lives in an apartment high up like a bird's nest, facing a big west sky, full of sunshine in late afternoon and frequently riotous sunset just a bit later. It's walls and floors are white, the space uncluttered, her furniture the colour of bark.  The neighbours are friendly but quiet. When she first moved in they made overtures, but without her having to say very much at all, they soon understood that Containment prefers solitude, and they have left her alone except for greetings in the hallway or elevator. 

She spends peaceful days working on solitary projects, taking whatever time they require. In late afternoon, she likes to change into blue silk pajamas, watch TV, and plan what she will do the next day. Her favorite smell is sandalwood.

No comments: