Friday, September 23, 2011

Dear love, putting my arms around you and giving you a big kiss. I hope you've been having a wonderful day. Mine has been pretty idyllic, especially the last couple of hours.

I'm just back from the CSA farm, which had been severely flooded during Hurricane Irene, they lost seventeen acres of planted crops due to the "500 year" flood. Shareholders paid extra for a "winter share," a post-Thanksgiving box of root vegetables. The farm has scrapped that plan, offering refunds, and is breaking into that cache of produce now to try to make up for the shortfall. What a nightmare. I'm very in awe of their hard work & perseverance, I absolutely would not, didn't ever, have what it takes to be a farmer. These people are exceptionally intelligent and visionary too. They farm on conserved land, coordinate with the National Park Service (there's an adjacent historic site), and they're biodynamic (organic and then some, very holistic) in the way they grow their crops. They realize that they're going to have to quit farming their lowlying fields, and are looking to acquire, lease or somehow else get hold of dry upland acreage to cultivate. They have a lot of supporters and shareholders, not just up here. They convey to farm markets in the Albany Capital Region, Westchester, and the City too - they're a bigger deal than I even realized. That has to be true, they are just too expert & erudite about what they do. I can imagine especially the Dutch farmer testifying before highlevel policymakers to lay out his experience, expertise, and recommendations as to supporting local, sustainable, biodynamic (e.g., methods that replenish the soil) farming.

My dearest, I'm back from that rainy drive, having greatly enjoyed it. Lucky me, a David Gray song came on, Sail Away, which followed a very passionate, romantic song entitled Sophia - I don't recall the name of the artist, a 22-year old Englishwoman. She was so ardent that I could imagine it was Emily Bronte on the heaths singing. And then came David Gray's response - Heathcliff's as far as I'm concerned! Sail away with me honey - oh yes please do.

Corn fields are mowed, leaves are starting to turn. A number of trees are bare already due to all the wet weather - they couldn't take it and bypassed the autumnal blaze altogether, leaves simply turning brown and dropping off. Even now the weather is strange, tropical and mild, from a 7-day forecast I glimpsed it seems that it's to be damp and in the low-70s for the foreseeable future, unusual for this time of year.

I came back with a slightly odd mix of produce, reflecting both high summer & late fall. Plum & beefsteak tomatoes... potatoes, a "bonbon" turban-shaped winter squash, onions, beets without their greens. But also a bowlful of glistening, pristine flavorful mixed lettuce, and another of pungent arugula.

I went around the bins placing vegetables in my bags, took them to the car, and returned to the barn for scissors to take to the long planted ribbon of annuals, to snip flowers for vases. "I tried to keep things simple today..." There is something about that particular activity, that and later at home, arranging the blooms in various vessels and placing them around the house, that completely relaxes me. I survey the border as I make my way along it, spy a bright red zinnia here, another one there. The ritual causes me to slow down, take step after slow step (the border is raised along a slight hillock of very uneven ground). I admire the whole of the stands of flowers, spy a bloom, decide to clip it, but maybe not the one next to it - leave it for the next person. And on and on like that down the row, along the progression of varied flowers - salvias, dark maroon sunflowers, cosmos, and today, for the first time, blue cornflowers, feathery blue cut diamonds.

I thought of you so much on my way home, utterly blissed out, yet obeying the speed limit on that treacherous highway, slick in the rain, I was glad to soon get off it onto a gentle road that cuts for miles between corn fields - green canyons a few weeks ago, since cleared to brown earth.

Sail away with me honey... ah we almost could in this weather. A gentle composition of rain patters outside the windows. It is cozy up here in the aerie, lamps on that cast warm quiet light. My fingers tap. Ice in my glass of pink wine tinkles (tiny bells ringing, as though I were summoning the help!). I look forward to dinner, Indian garam masala chicken, drumsticks marinaded in a concoction of exotic, fragrant spices - cardamom seeds

(seeded by hand, by me! I stood at the counter splitting open pods, a third the size of pistachios and similar in shape, flaking out the tiny seeds. It took some minutes (too many) to yield "1 Tablespoon." Ah, thank goodness for my life of the mind, I wonder what I was thinking about as I went through that - oh, let me guess, wow this is boring will this task ever end, if saffron is the most expensive possible item in a supermarket, can cardamom seeds be far behind, oh darling)

cumin, cinammon sticks, cloves, fresh ginger, cilantro

Sweetheart, I interrupt this reverie to ask you rhetorically -
WTF is happening in this country, esp. in Washington,
with the Republican Congress
I do what I can, sign every petition that comes my way
(several a day sometimes, these days, in my inbox)
on all great causes - in my estimation -
such as keeping the air clean
I'm not oblivious
and yet I can't deal with it directly
I have no power, and no money (would love to give & give & give to my favorite candidates, but simply can't)
what a drag esp. after that horrible mega-corporatist Supreme Court decision (Citizens United) that gave Goliath unlimited cash

So I have this strange bifurcated life
stepping along a flower border, picking posies
driving in the rain
listening to beautiful songs
looking forward to spending time with you, dearest Captain
and at the same time - yes, I become frightened not only of my own mortality (a subject of its own, given lack of health insurance)
but the whole fate of our nation
the landscape has changed so much, hasn't it, since you and I came up in the world? It's barely recognizable to me.

I have to say, I feel very ineffective as a political writer.
All I can do is to cherish what I enjoy today, and to lament what I've lost.

I have no interest in grassroots organizing, even though I realize that that's what's required, to push back. But I'm simply not that person, that's not where my energies lie.

My dearest. At various times today I have pictured you before me, you're stroking my face affectionately, and I yours. I touch your hair. You kiss me. We murmur in the darkness. Our limbs meet and entwine, our bodies are strong and healthy and fit together. Our hands do CSA runs over each other's biodynamic presences, your shape - narrower at the hips, more angular, flared at the shoulders, taller - different from mine, rounder, softer, shorter, my hair long, breasts full, voice higher-pitched...

Dearest love, the rain has picked up, patters. I think of you, the whole night through. Many kisses.

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