I quit on The Variations. The book built on a foundation I had no idea how to approach. So I make a french-press of coffee and start Edgar Sawtelle which also did not get me at hello, but ill give it a hundred pages. It gets darker and more oppressive as the afternoon wears on, so we retreat to the nest and the fan and the coffee and books. By the end of the day I was three-hundred pages into Edgar Sawtelle, an easy reader, not wild about the text, but its a fine story and a quick read and you cant win them all.
Picking beans has become fraught. After the initial qualmy sense of hunting them subsides, the doomsday dialectic begins. Are they too young? If I wait another day will they have already gone over? Learning I should give the entire patch a cursory once over to get perspective. You dont end up picking half a bucket of adolescents and leaving the primes to over ripen. But the gardens got me qualmy anyway, this blight, the canker in my bud, the cucumbers annihilated, even the tomato out of town on the garden gate exhibits the heart-dropping pox. And you look around at the others, the yellow pears and peacevines and you can breathe again, as long as you forget. So tonight more under the blade and application of a hopeful homebrew. And I think you said something about not being a tomato person, but growing a garden is living a life. Its the souls work in microcosm. And for me its also one of the only things ive ever done with any modicum of success. And im skitish and squirrelly (did I tell you squirrels are solitary creatures?) but in my garden ive been able to be present and at ease, and all I want is to be out there with the lavender and the sunflowers and the sage and maybe crouch there in the straw in the shadow of a miraculous lifeform and freely it offers to me the fruit of its time and as a breeze comes up I bring it into me smiling, deep breathing, face to the sun. this is the life I want to live. A life of union and nourishment, cycles and mindfulness.