Friday, April 23, 2010


1:30 p.m. On an Adirondack chair beneath a lilac which is budding and not quite yet in fragrant bloom. So much has greened in the last several weeks and it's in the 70s today so there's an illusion of its being late spring. Yet many trees are still bare, as if stubbornly clinging to their internal clocks despite the unbidden tinkerings of climate change. We have never leafed out before May and we're not about to start now. Lilacs, on the other hand, are going with the new flow. I don't remember them ever blooming in April with the daffodils.

The artist tells me that his lilac -- 75 years old he's been told, flattened by the last ice storm -- is late to bloom this year. I just wrote down the opposite, I say. I've asked his permission to take a few blooms. I circle around the massive, tangled bush, recovered, tall again, and reach overhead. The twigs snap easily. The dark buds aren't fragrant but once they open they lighten in color and release their scent, as if scent is tied up in some way with hue. Now, up in the aerie, I enjoy the sweet perfumed blossoms before me on my desk, flowers placed in sugar water in a green iridescent glass. Flowers - ones one might desire in particular to preserve - have been known to keep in the fridge for six months in water into which has been placed sugar, a couple of teaspoons, tablespoons, it seems hardly to matter which. I hand up a branch.

1 p.m. I am standing above the creek, the water's running over the rocks at just this spot, to delightful audible and visual effect, perpetual harmonics, froth. What a glorious site...

Later I went down to the water, endeavoring first to ascertain technical aspects as to legal waterfront public access, a subject that perhaps I should be more knowledgeable about given my past professional background. But it never soaked in, not even then. Perhaps there's a point (as opposed to path) that is public, but it seems that one must trespass over private property to reach it (unless there's an easement? but who would know? there's no signage). In any event, it may not matter in my case, I'm unlikely ever to be busted for trespassing (and yet, I feel punctilious on the point - public is public, and private is private, no "special exceptions.") I'm slightly acquainted with the property owner, for whom D occasionally does work. I took the liberty, legal with certain footfalls, arguably illegal with others, to go right down to the water. I took off my shoes, rolled up my pants, gingerly made my way down slippery rocks, and dipped my feet. I have been mildly obsessed, in some corner of my mind, about crossing creeks, coming into contact with the water. Water is such an amazing, omnipresent feature in the landscape here - and yet so hard to access. The ancient footbridge, for example, came down. The water was clear and felt cool but not frigid to my feet. I utterly enjoyed the unexpected summery sensation of stepping into a natural body of water. I wish I had taken a photo of, say, my feet, but I had put the camera down before my slippery descent on pitched rocks, and now it was out of reach.

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