Why, then, do we have to be human
and keep running from the fate
we long for?
Oh, not because of such a thing as happiness--
that fleeting gift before loss begins.
Not from curiosity, or to exercise the heart ....
But because simply to be here is so much
and because what is here seems to need us,
this vanishing world that concerns us strangely--
us, the most vanishing of all. Once
for each, only once. Once and no more.
And we too: just once. Never again. But
to have lived even once,
to have been of Earth--that cannot be taken from us.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
You wake up one morning in August and the air feels cooler and thinner than it has, and there's a sweetness, like the smell of alfalfa hay - sweet, and just a little rancid. It happens every year, and I'm never ready. It's the smell of summer ending, and I think of it as the smell of death. Okay, that's dramatic: it's really just a few dead leaves, a build-up of grass clippings, some spent flowers, and of course, my bad attitude.
I intended so many things this summer. I wanted to find a way to do them all, but a week into June I realized I'd put too much on my plate. I was stressed and anxious and feeling bad about everything, so I got rid of pretty much all of it. After all, I work for myself, and since I'm not being paid to suffer - not being paid for anything, as it happens - I might as well do what I feel like doing. I spent the last two months' spare time needle felting and keeping up my flower garden. I didn't write. I didn't submit. I've been getting up early most mornings, while there's still an hour or so before sunrise. I sit in my untidy studio in the quiet with a mug of tea beside me, and poke out little creatures or sew tiny clothes. To what end, I'm not sure. But the process makes me happy, so I'm going with it. The rest of my life, well, it hasn't seemed as serene as the few hours a day I spend in my studio or the garden.
This is the third post I've written this week, the first being self-indulgent and dramatic, the second being rambling and over-confessional. I've decided that after not writing most of the summer, there were things I needed to get off my chest and out into the world before I could move on. But you don't necessarily need to see some of those things. I'll just share that this week has been about trying to move forward and focus on what we managed to accomplish this summer, and what we can still accomplish. In other words, I'm trying to suck things up and move on. Just like a vacuum. Suck crap up and move on. The main problem for me is that I haven't figured out how to empty my canister yet. Badum-ching! See, this is where my mind is right now, so it seems best to let some photos do the talking.
Partial pictorial update on the summer follows.
Dave started work on the chicken house, a project we've put off the last few years. It's an investment, and I don't have any idea if it will ever be put to the use I'd like for it, which would be as a larger studio/shop space for art, and a guest house. I would love to have more space to create and perhaps space for others to create with me. And Dave and I have always wanted to have a place to house family or friends, but also maybe people needing housing for one reason or another.
Walks to see Pa's cows, and to the lake.
And a few times a week, our kitchen looks like this. Except add about 100 pounds of tomatoes and 20 more eggplants and cucumbers to that which wouldn't fit in the picture. Because Dave insists on planting a "truck-farmer" garden even though we aren't truck farmers.
Finally, Nettie has been helping me with some vegan baking. We've tried several new recipes this summer which we really liked, and I hope to share those soon.
And if you're in the mood for it, the song Nettie and I have been singing for most of the last three days.