Imagine a Carthage sown with salt, and all the sowers gone, and the seeds lain however long in the earth, till there rose finally in vegetable profusion leaves and trees of rime and brine. What flowering would there be in such a garden? Light would force each salt calyx to open in prisms, and to fruit heavily with bright globes of water — peaches and grapes are little more than that, and where the world was salt there would be greater need of slaking. For need can blossom into all the compensations it requires. To crave and to have are as like as a thing and its shadow. For when does a berry break upon the tongue as sweetly as when one longs to taste it, and when is the taste refracted into so many hues and savors of ripeness and earth, and when do our senses know any thing so utterly as when we lack it? And here again is a foreshadowing — the world will be made whole. For to wish for a hand on one’s hair is all but to feel it. So whatever we may lose, very craving gives it back to us again. Though we dream and hardly know it, longing, like an angel, fosters us, smooths our hair, and brings us wild strawberries.
~ Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping: A Novel
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would welcome you back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. Hugs if you don’t mind hugs. Let’s go to the kitchen, grab something to drink and something to snack on in case we get to feeling peckish, and go out to the porch where we’ve rearranged things a little. The settee has been moved to the front porch where it was destined to go once the work on the porch was finished, and we have a quite comfortable futon to sit on instead. Or there’s always the rocking chair which is one of the best seats in the house and on the porches.
How are you? What have you been up to lately? Have you traveled anywhere, been on any adventures, gone exploring, or seen any new sights? Has spring finally arrived in your area or is winter still trying to hang on? For those of my friends who are living in the southern hemisphere, is summer coming to a close while autumn slides in to replace the heat with tastes of winter weather? What are you reading? Have you listened to any good music or seen any good films since our last chat? Been on any walks or hikes? Do you take note of these questions or does it seem like I ask the same things week after week so you just skip through them? If you could change something about what’s been going on in the world this past week, what would it be and how would you change it?
If we were having coffee, etc., I would tell you that I just finished reading Housekeeping: A Novel by Marillynne Robinson. The opening quote in this post was (obviously) from the book. I tried to pick a small sample that would show you how beautifully it is written. Sometimes I felt as though I was reading someone’s dream. It’s not the best description, but it is all that I can think of at the moment. Maybe it would be closer to say it was like being carried along by someone’s dream. There was a floating, hard-to-grasp, ephemeral quality to the writing. It is a beautiful book (did I say that already?), and if the quote piqued your interest, you would probably enjoy it as much as I did. I think I may want to go back and read it again someday.
I’m currently reading She Is Me: A Novel. The book was in the to-be-read pile, probably from years ago. I’m pretty sure it was a Christmas gift, taken from my Amazon wish list back in 2007 or 2008. I must confess that sometimes I don’t read the books I already have before buying new books. Sometimes?! I just heard the honest part of me snort and laugh at that. Fine, fine. I will admit the truth. I am a bookaholic and it is likely I am also a book hoarder. I don’t hoard books the way I used to. I donate them or give them to someone who might appreciate reading them when I finish. But I still buy far too many books, and have a to-be-read pile that will probably outlast my lifetime and my ability to read them all before I die.
I was thinking about how this might have happened. There was a time when I read books as fast as I bought them, sometimes reading two or three or more books per week, and the hoarding happened on the finished end of things. At one time M and I lived in a house with a room that had a large wall lined with bookshelves. There was space and shelving to collect books. When we moved from there, I donated many of the books to save us the work involved in packing, moving, and unpacking them. It felt so good to give the books away that I rarely save any now, and that is a wonderful thing because we have very little room to store the books I’ve finished reading in our current home.
Somewhere along the way I stopped reading as much as I used to and now the books pile up on the to-be-read end. I am given books from my wish list for Christmas and my birthday, or sometimes someone will pass on books they think will interest me. Someone will recommend a book and I’ll buy it. Then there are the trips to Ollie’s, a store I’d never heard of until we moved here. We don’t go often, but when we do, I always browse the book section, and usually leave with 2-4 books because they are so darn cheap. I mean REALLY cheap. I usually end up with books that were on my wish list, but sometimes, because the price is right, I come home with books from authors I’m not familiar with because, as I already mentioned, they are so darned cheap. Usually in the $2.99 to $5.99 range for hard cover books.
If we were having coffee or tea or something else to drink, I would tell you that I have been trying to curb this habit/addiction. Or at least the buying part of it, at any rate. That’s where the library comes in. I’ve been whittling away slowly at my wish list by occasionally requesting one of the books on the older side of the list through our local library. Unfortunately, that means I’m not putting much of a dent in the pile of books I already have waiting to be read. As others before me have lamented, so many books, so little time. *sigh*
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I started mowing this week. Ack!! I was hoping to put it off, preferably until mid-April. The month of May would have been nice, but I knew that was unrealistic. Our grass has continued to grow throughout the mild winter and after experiencing quite a few days of summer-like weather, I could no long deny that the grass needed to be mowed. It is going to be a very long mowing season, I suspect. I think it is also going to be a short spring. We’ve been near 80°F already a few times, and yesterday the heat combined with high humidity to bring us a taste of what summers usually feel like in this area. I would have left the grass for another week or so except the snakes are now making appearances, and I suspect it won’t be long before we’re into tick season. Long grasses do a good job of hiding snakes and carrying ticks.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I went shopping for new clothes this week. I am not a fan of shopping for clothing, and this trip was made even more tortuous than usual by the fact that my brain hasn’t caught up with the actuality of my body. I needed to shop because most of my clothing was too big, and wearing trousers that slide halfway down my backside is hardly tasteful or grandmotherly fashion. Not that I adhere to any particular fashion rules in general, but there are some things that just don’t work for me or for a woman my age, and I was reaching the point where my pants were more likely to slide off completely without a belt to hold them up. At any rate, it took me a while to figure out what size I am and come to terms with what size I am not even if I still see myself that way. The brain is a funny place, isn’t it? It took some convincing to finally get my brain to admit that I am smaller than I used to be.
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else, I would think it’s time for me to stop rambling and let you take a turn. Would you care to walk out to the garden and greenhouse with me while we chat? I want to get some flower seeds started. I meant to get them going last week, but just couldn’t find the time.
Thank you so much for stopping by today and joining me for another coffee chat. You are welcome to stay if you like. Perhaps you’d like to join me on the dock at sunset. It’s clear and sunny right now, as you might have noticed, but they’re saying clouds will be moving in later. It might make for a good sunset if they aren’t so thick they hide it. Sunset is at 7:21 PM. You’ll need a jacket. Yesterday’s heat and humidity were swept away overnight when a cool front moved through.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂 And a Happy Easter to those of you celebrating it!
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Thank you to Diana for hosting it. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.