After a marathon of work and social activities, ahead of me these next FIVE days lay whatever summer delights I can fill them with.
Of course I've a longish list of not so fun activities - all just as neglected as my musings on PYtB, but there are plenty-o-fun pursuits to choose from as well.
This week represents the last call to put up strawberries, as the local harvest is in decline. I've ordered a flat of local berries and plan to make jam and freeze a few to enjoy in the depths of winter - a delicious taste of summer's sweetness held in reserve like a culinary time capsule.
If I had to classify this summer in one word - what stands out the most is MUSIC. I've stumbled upon the most incredible new group of friends - mostly musicians.
Through the kind host of Anna and Dave' who brew their own beer and invite their huge group of artistic friends to taste it on Wednesday afternoons at what they've dubbed "The Hump Day Brewery, they've opened up a whole new world to me. Not only is the beer incredible - always a new flavor - anything from beet, to heather or dandelion and last week's spectacular hop free english style ale, that tasted more like a beer ade than a classic beer - So refreshing! So talented both of them.
Every Hump Day the people gather at their place, and after a beer or two someone will begin playing an instrument, and then another will join and often many others. I've seen up to 15 musicians jamming at once of every caliber playing anything from folk/rock covers to pure unadulterated improv. I have even joined in with a washboard and bottle cap - and I've been known to tap my beer glass with a lighter or whatever - the music is positively contagious.
Through them I've met my new dear friend Christine - the dynamo that spends what appears to be every waking hour trying to make a difference and connect people with similar inclinations. She got me involved in helping out the Intervale by taking pics during their Thursday evening concert series, It's always a good time with lots of beautiful families with their beautiful babies running around enjoying the grounds and tunes. Photo ops galore.
As I was writing the above, my daughter stopped by, not unusual winter or summer, but the rounds of drop by guests definitely do increase in warmer months. My friends Frieda and Brandon followed soon after and before I knew it, three hours had passed and the beginning of an art project I'd been talking about for a few weeks.
I have this idea for a photo series turning boobs into representational gardens. Brandon was so kind as to allow me to color in his bird tats and build a little flower feeder for them.
Now I have to go deal with those strawberries and a few of those less exciting tasks I mentioned.
Hope all is well with all my friends and readers. Happy summer! XXKHT
"I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer.
My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that
solitude presses against my lips. " ~Violette Leduc,
got a lot of things going on right now, but you don't have time to deal
with all of them. Solution? Delegation. Give away as many errands,
tasks and jobs as possible today. You have plenty of family members,
coworkers or friends who would be fine with taking something off your
plate, so give them a call. Find out who can help you out. By the end
of the day, things should start getting back to normal. Don't forget to
thank them for their help -- so they will want to help you again!
Not having a computer has left me with a great deal more time for reflection than I need or want. Many people would relish the prospect of having such an expanse of time to themselves, even without their favorite pastimes to fill the void, but I am having a hard time with it.
As a rule, I try to fill every waking moment with something - the clickity clack of the keyboard, or the shuffling about in the kitchen producing our sustenance, friends stopping by for coffee or a meal, or when all else fails the sound of voices - even if it's just my own.
Well, there's only so much of my own voice I can take. Any clickity clacking on a keyboard is done on a borrowed one for the time being; and food for two - even with a regular stream of guests isn't enough to keep me busy full time.
These past weeks have been tough - mostly in the lack of routine my life has now. With the iBook gone, my mornings are chaos. I used to wake up and after the normal biological needs had been attended, would return to bed with a cup of coffee and the daily Xword and Sudoku - the second greatest way to start any day in my humble opinion (haha).
Now, the mornings are vague and undefined. I'm sleeping later. I'm having a harder time focusing on what I want to accomplish each day - many days pass without production.
This past summer, I experienced the epiphany of gardening. I'd never tried it before, having given up before I'd started based on my extremely poor record with houseplants. No one had ever bothered to explain the vast difference between the two pursuits which, I'm here to say, is HUGE.
To the degree that houseplants are fussy, garden plants insist on trying. As your houseplant defies you to please it with the proper conditions of light, soil minerals and moisture, a garden will endure unseasonable heat, drought, torrential rain and early frost. Well, at least that's how I remember it.
The vegetable plant has but one season; and so with this in mind, it hits the ground running. The simple act of putting the plant in the dirt, adding some water, and allowing nature to do most of the rest of the work is one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced.
Watching things grow is one of the only things, I can honestly say, makes complete sense! Not to understate the miracle of these events, but it really is as simple as that. The job of the gardener is to attempt damage control. To be the weed mercenary. To add water when nature slacks. To cover the tender shoots against a late frost. To observe, and care, like a nurse maid, but unlike human charges, the gardener's charges know exactly what they're trying to do.
Over the summer, the garden was my life. I had no interest in mornings in front of the computer - I couldn't wait to get out of bed and down to our plot in the community gardens, and that became our routine. The schedule was thus: Make coffee and head out the door. Spend morning on hands and knees poring over every inch of the rows noting with fascination every development and detail. Sadly, go to work. Come home. Sleep. Wake up and do it again (even on rainy days).
Now I have no computer routine. I have no garden routine. I have no job. I have ideas about what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm just not doing them.
Thinking about the garden today jarred my sense of the joy of production. As much as I'd like to blame it on the computer, or the holidays, or even this damned thaw....my problem is a long running issue with motivation. The phrase, "Once begun, it's half done" is doubly applicable to my personality type.
I need a routine again. I need to set tangible goals. I can't live a life where having one thing break down can break me down. Like the vegetables in the garden, I need to see each season as an opportunity.
With this in mind, I will attempt to accomplish the following things this week:
Go to the gym at least 3 times and do not miss yoga on Thursday
Produce one large piece of art from a wooden storm door frame (materials are assembled)
Coordinate a garden friends potluck for the purpose of organizing a seed cooperative.
Write something meaningful in this blog, i.e. not just sticking something interesting that someone else produced in this spot instead of producing that interesting something myself.
Send out the last of the Xmas cards (that's right, I still have Xmas cards and I'm going to send them) and mail remaining packages.
There, that's five goals for five normal working days. I could technically claim this to be the meaningful addition to the blog; so I've only got four to go. I'll let you know next week how it worked out.
XXKHT <-Trying to turn herself from a fussy houseplant into a hardy garden vegetable.
Of winter's lifeless world each tree Now seems a perfect part; Yet each one holds summer's secret Deep down within its heart. ~Charles G. Stater