Why call my blog ‘Peripatetic Musings’?
Because that’s what I do…
Decades ago, I phoned my uncle Michael to say I was heading to Torquay and could I drop in for a visit. And he said ‘Oh! My peripatetic niece! How nice to hear from you.’ I confess, when I hung up the phone I went straight to the dictionary to discover just what sort of niece I am. Of course, it is quite clear (once you know). Peri as in perimeter, and patetic as in the patter of feet. (I made that up… but it works for me!)
The dictionary says:
peripatetic: adjective – travelling from place to place, nomadic, itinerant, wandering, roving, roaming, ambulatory, unsettled, vagrant, vagabond.
A wandering minstrel’s peripatetic “life-style choice”…
ORIGIN: late Middle English (denoting an Aristotelian philosopher): from Old French peripatetique, via Latin from Greek peripatētikos ‘walking up and down.’ Clearly the word has wandered a long way too!
Then, a few years later, when ‘peripatetic’ had become an established part of my vocab, I called another uncle, and without thinking, said ‘Hi Frank, it’s your peripatetic niece here, I have a week of gigs in Adelaide, may I come and stay with you?’ And he answered, ‘You shouldn’t put yourself down like that, you are not very pathetic. And yes, of course, you are welcome anytime.’
Uncles… what would we do without them?
I dedicate this collection of musings to a literary uncle of sorts… Kenko (1283-1350), a Buddhist monk and poet of Kyoto, who wrote a book entitled Tsurezuregusa 徒然草 published in English translation as Essays in Idleness. I first read it back in the 1980’s when living in Japan and was very taken with his simple format of short essays on whatever took his fancy. It was the 14th century equivalent of a blog.
I am not sure if anyone else will find my own idle essays of any value, but as Kenko said “the most precious thing in life is its uncertainty.”
Anne Norman is a touring musician, composer, shakuhachi performer, story-teller and poet. She has also authored a book entitled Curiosi-tea.