“Many women have been born who found for themselves no epic life wherein there was a constant unfolding of far-resonant action; perhaps only a life of mistakes, the offspring of a certain spiritual grandeur ill-matched with the meanness of opportunity, perhaps a tragic failure which found no sacred spot and sank upswept into oblivion.”
George Elliot, Middlemarch
I once had a boss named Skippy, an insecure little martinet, who was every bit as incompetent as his name sounds. Looking back, that job, all two years, three months and eleven days of it, was the worst job I ever had, mainly because it sucked the spiritual grandeur out of my soul like a hyena sucks marrow out of zebra bones somewhere on a parched African plain.
I quit that job about the same time I decided to stop bothering with the upkeep of a saltwater aquarium filled with yellow tang, leaving me with a perfectly good plastic, fish tank sized castle to dispose of. Because my back yard is dominated by some gigantic granite boulders, I had a number of possible mountain passes in which to situate the retired fish tank castle. It will always remind me of Skippy and his ilk who personify the meanness of opportunity afforded to the women George Elliot writes about.
So, there my castle sits, high in the mountains, representing a sacred spot to meditate on, a spot more suited to my lofty spiritual grandeur than Skippy’s corner office. I can imagine that someday I will retreat to my mountain stronghold to write the story of my epic life, detailing all the obstacles I had to overcome, and all the mistakes, like The Skipper, that I survived.
I might even go so far as to say I was saved from oblivion, and from a life of tragic failure, by a plastic aquarium castle.