Friday, June 22, 2012

garlic, moods, stories

I don't know if you're moody, but I am.  I move from euphoria to despair in no time.  Sometimes I can get a good streak of joy going, but it doesn't take much knock me back into fear and worry.  I am restless and perpetually unsatisfied.  Sometimes happiness slaps its gloss on my surface and I sing, become buoyant, tell the world how marvelous a blade of grass is.  A blade of grass is marvelous, world.  You can pull two blades taut together and make hideous music by the power of your own lungs.  This world mesmerizes me with its opportunities for play.  It's a beautiful world with many sweet corners, and it's fun to be in the world's high places; but the trouble with high places is that they push the bottom further and further down, and the bottom never disappears.  There's always a bottom.  The morning started out well enough, but my fears about myself and my future knocked me flat by 10 AM, and the letter I wrote to my mother to air my worries only reinforced them.  By noon I was sure the day would be shit, but I gave myself a talking-to, sucked it up, and went to feed Ellis, the cat I am feeding until Saturday. 

By two-thirty I'd had enough grading for one day, and I went out into the garden to dick around.  The hot weather we've been having pushed my garlic plants along, and when I knelt down I found that more than a couple of them were ready to pull.  Things started looking up right then.  I completely forgot about what had been bothering in the morning when I sat down to write my mom.  Pulling my garlic brought a big circle to a close.  Last May I could not have predicted the four bulbs I pulled today.  The bulbs have their own story.  I transported two bulbs last October from Stan and Rose Mary's farm in New Mexico and then, a couple days after returning to Massachusetts, I divided the bulbs into cloves and planted the cloves in my front yard garden.  All spring I watched them.  I watched them on low days and high days.  I told my friends about them, sat with friends on my front porch and pointed at them.  I have fifteen plants, I would say.  They came from New Mexico, I would say.  I had no idea how strong the plants would be.  I wondered, Will the bulbs be wimpy?  Will the plants be vigorous?  I didn't and  still don't even know what kind of garlic they are.  Red Russian?  I'm not sure.  Whatever they are, they came from El Bosque farm in Dixon, New Mexico.  I carried them home in my Subaru.  

Work, like story, is good for getting your mind off things.  It's important to think about your life and reflect on your life, but it's also important to know when to stop thinking about it and start working.  I have set my life up so that I have an abundance of free time on my hands, free time to do things that I mean to do but which do not pay.  This is one of them, and I love it.  Sometimes, though, I have too much time and not enough work, both paid and unpaid, so unexpected albeit momentary pieces of work like this are treats.  Big treats.  You don't know when a bulb of garlic will turn your day around, just as you don't know what tomorrow will really bring. Pulling your first muddy bulbs of garlic and hosing them down is not like having your first baby, but it does feel good.  So thanks to everyone who is behind this post.  You know who you are.   



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