Sunday, May 30, 2010

Perfect day today, hot, sunny, and dry. Who would believe it's snowing I quip to the familiar gentleman with his dog. We cross paths at the bottom of the meadow, a point near which various paths curve and meet. White wisps swirl in the air, fall on the ground, collect - seeds from the...

And so my post grinds to a halt. I want to say from the honey locusts, but having googled it now I'm not so sure. Can I cheat and poetically say that they're the white rose petals from the abundant rosa multifloras? But they're not, the stuff flying in the air is silken wisps. It reminds me of the gossamer white that Penelope leaves all over the place to mark her spots - so that she can always find her way home?

My blog has received yet more page loads connected to Da Vinci's Madonna of the Carnation. I've been getting them off and on for a couple of months but the frequency has stepped up in recent days. Since last night I've received hits from Germantown, Maryland; London, U.K.; Drammen, Buskerud, Norway; Lahti, Southern Finland, Finland; Everett, Mass; and Thessaloniki, Greece. Why the interest? Do I need to read Dan Brown to figure this out? Will it be enough to Netflix the Tom Hanks movie?

Oh darling, I don't have much to say at the moment. I feel tired. I'm up in the aerie. It's sunny and peaceful, radio's on. I'm trying to muse, click on various sites, or be still and think.

We stopped by the Sycamore nursery this afternoon. D told me that since he had purchased vegetable plants there yesterday we had a free perennial coming to us, and Randy suggested to him that I might want to be along for that. So I checked out the perennial border on the side of the house, scrutinized gaps that I'd like to fill with a bit more of the same that we purchased from him last year, that is, a lovely salvia reminiscent of lilac blooms, a rose-purple echinacea, and a very tall (near 6 foot) back-of-the-border yellow cutleaf coneflower. Randy is such a nice guy and great plantsman that he actually remembered from last year that I was frustrated with a rose-blossomed spirea (purchased not from him). He had suggested perennials to complement it - was I happy? Well - yes! Why I was there for more of the very same. I should totally link to his nursery but I don't want people hitting on my blog because they're looking for him. (As you know, it's not that kind of blog.) But if they do - he's great. I've been delighted with anything I ever bought from him especially once it gets established - in which case it exceeds my original expections. I'm certainly far more pleased than with most plants that I've ever bought from a big-box store. (There have been a few happy exceptions - such as heavily marked-down astilbes from Home D. last year that are beautiful, elegant, and about to come back into robust bloom just now.)

To continue in this vein, the first winter we moved here (5 years ago) we planted a tiny Colorado spruce on sale from a great nursery (not Sycamore - I don't think he was around back then). "Thumbelina" is graceful in form & color, thriving and absolutely beautiful in every respect. You have to pay for aesthetics, is a lesson I draw. Yes, we bought the tree on sale - but it was from a high quality place to begin with. As opposed to, a couple of years later, two other spruces that we bought from Home D. - and I don't like them. They simply lack the grace and elegance of Thumbelina. I tolerate them. But I am kicking myself (hindsight 20/20) that we didn't hold out for higher quality trees when it comes to those two (though we have for most other trees we've planted on the property, I should add).

Actually, that's one of the big lies about the big-box store culture our nation became mired in. I remember a conversation with my aunt - she said what a pleasure it is to find something on sale - when it's from a really good store. There is a lot to be said for that, as opposed to buying low-price junk from an indifferent store. I'm not able to follow it through in all respects in my life, though I try. I'd like to be able to pay full-price more often, what things are worth, what they cost to produce - such as, I would really like to have a subscription to a CSA here that I've had the privilege to enjoy when our next-door neighbors are out of town and ask us to pick up their "share." I'm hoping our finances are getting in better order. Maybe they are. D seems in a very good mood these days. I'm completely worthless in the marketable department these days. "Penniless rich woman," I heard Jerome Charyn say of E.D., as I re-listened to his WAMC radio interview and jotted down notes. But you know - I'm not beating myself up over it. How can I possibly? I see, for example, two brilliant women - Ruth Reichl and Dominique Browning - who were discarded by the corporate culture, and it seems to me that they're not having such an easy time of it (they write about it). And these are two great, strong, artistic, professional, achieving, highpowered women - and they're struggling. So I'm struggling too - hanging in there - but there it is. I find it interesting. I've been re-inventing myself, doing all I feel that I can do.

D was planting in the perennials and I came out with a glass of wine (mine). I told him that I see how hard he works and that I don't take it for granted. He was cheerful but couldn't help but mutter some "worker ant" remark, and I said, look, I used to work super-hard for many years, including physically - you know I did, you know it (I made him acknowledge that and he did) - and now I simply can't anymore, or not in the "old way" anymore, anyway.

Where do I go from here? I don't know exactly. But this - loving you, and writing ("blogging my muse" as L.R. perfectly described) - is what I'm up for these days, and I feel very fortunate, penniless yet rich, free up in the aerie, writing whatever I like. Leftover delicious pasta with broccoli rabe tonight for dinner. Oh good, no one has to cook. We'll grill tomorrow.

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