Tuesday, May 10, 2011

hot air

A hot day. Where did it come from, this wave of summer air?

I am up early: this morning I must go into the city. This is the way I think of days now: ones where I must go into the city and days when I needn’t make the trip downtown. It’s such a short drive, really it is and yet those few miles keep me apart from all that is Madison.

And so when I do go in, I make a list of all that I must do there, because who knows when the next big trip into town will take place (actually tomorrow, but never mind...). Appointments, office stops, bank stops, Trader Joe’s, this way, that way – and because it is such a warm day, I feel like a season has passed since I was last in Madison. I lived there once! Oh my, it looks so different now!

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By noon I am at the farm again. I have exams and papers to read and more will come my way this week, but I am not ready for this yet.

Instead, today, I open, for the first time in two years, the file with my book draft.

I hate it.

I put it down. Outside – time to go outside. There is so much work now around the raspberry jungle.


Ed drives several truckloads of wood chips into the barren center of the patch and I spread these with a pitchfork. Grueling work. And, as if heaving loads of wood chips isn’t punishing enough, Ed tells me – I’ve lost my crank for the truck tarp.

Neatly spread bark has to be lifted until the tool is found again. Please do not misplace it again! I say, as if anyone needs the reminder.

By 2:30 I need a coffee break. Any break actually, but let’s make it a nice peanut butter sandwich at the cafĂ© type of break because I am getting awfully close to feeling spent.

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I regain my energies. I return to the farmhouse while Ed continues to heave and spread wood chips. I take another look at the book project. This time I’m more forgiving. Of the forty pages I wrote some two years back, I’d like to rip out ten. But thirty are alright. In line with what I would want to put down now, two years later, older, wiser.

I go back outside to check on Ed.
I’ve lost my crank for the truck tarp, he tells me.
I help dig into the chips until we find it, buried deeply, in the same place where it had been buried before.