Friday, June 19, 2009
Weiser River Pillow Book #7
[Well here we are after all, thanks to Eberle's Weiser River Pillow Book series. If you're interested in past installments, simply click on the link right above the Blog Archive list. Hope you enjoy it!]
A DOUBLE VISION OF WORMS
A family camping trip, two rubber rafts on a lake.
The worm suspended over the water between the rafts which are too full of people and dynamics, all the dynamics somehow focused on the worm which has been packed miles into this mountain lake, now suspended over the water, the focus of the question:
Who shall impale the worm?
If you are afraid of doing it, you will be asked to do it, you will become the center of horrible attention instead of the worm; until you are not afraid and then you will be ignored at the moment of impaling, which becomes a sacred privilege reserved for someone else. A brother, a father.
2001, my garden, the worms are in the earth where they belong and I have a reverence for them, as gardeners do. I know when the tiny young worms start to appear, and which beds have the most. I’m standing in the mint bed and one comes out of the soil, making visible that incredible connection between air and earth—I have put the bodies of guinea hens and cats into the earth, I can almost imagine my own there, going into the worms, the mobile intestines of the underworld.
PANIC IS WORSE WHEN THE SKY IS BLUE
arched high the way it is in June, the plants budding and blooming so fast and furious you realize things are really out of your hands. Everything suddenly alive. This is when you don’t want thundering hooves coming out of the sky, panic, your heartbeat shaking the earth, worms for miles around shaken numbly from the earth, lying there draped and drunkenly exposed.
Stretcher, wire, fencing pliers.
Staples, string, a thermos of cool water with mint and lemon balm and ginger in it.
Stout boots; leather gloves are good.
Our neighbors are fencing too and the day is very hot. We all watch each other with increasing wariness as the sun moves higher, and we stretch the wire tight, tighter.
We probably won’t see rain again until September.
In June, rose petals will fill the dusty ditch.
The sound of the sprinkler will make Pablo the parrot doze off dreamily, just as he would during a rainstorm.
THINGS ABOUT THE CATALPA TREE
Its heart-shaped leaves seen through the kitchen-sink window and a section of spiral staircase.
Its late-leafing and rather coarse abandon-- and then the perfection of its blossoms, the speckled funnel and whorled lips.
The strange, sweet-astringent smell you can smell from the pumphouse. Then the tree goes invisible until the dangling pods turn brown and catch your eye.
THINGS THAT APPEAR WITH NO WARNING
One morning, one field over, large bales of hay.
The beginnings of blackberries.
A sore throat.
THINGS THAT BECOME COMPLETELY ENGROSSING WHEN THE TEMPERATURE IS 100
Watching Pablo the parrot eat a cherry.
Leaning on the corral fence with the llamas nearby.
Watching the guinea hens plop themselves down in the shade of the plum trees.
Looking at the various plants growing in the pasture. Thinking about them.
PROJECTS ALWAYS LOOMING, NEVER SCHEDULED
Cleaning the pantry, the crawl space.
Scraping the last of the varnish off the wood floor.
Covering the old lime-green linoleum with new linoleum.
PROJECTS WE DID INSTEAD
Built a wood shed.
Made a sculpture of an old culvert and hanging lamp.
Painted animal silhouettes in the corner of the living room.
The morning sun is golden-- a deep gold that makes things seem to glow from within—it is unlike the light at any other time of year. It makes the idea of death seem a betrayal—a trick by an adversary not acting honorably. The mesh of light and hammock, leaves and sky, looking as strong and single-minded as the idea of eternity.
THINGS ABOUT HIKERS IN THE WILDERNESS
They fly in from other places and assemble gear—brightly colored and made of high-tech fibers. They make going into the wilderness into an act of consumption. Choosing a mountain, a lake, as they would a car—for what it reflects about their idea of their own elusive identity.
THINGS THAT FLOAT ALONG IN TIME
The spent heads of the irises bearing the memory of spring.
Dry grassheads, that bloomed unnoticed, now making waves across fields in the wind.
Elderberry blossoms like foam carried on the upper reaches of thickets.