Sunday, February 22, 2015

cataloging and compos(t)ing the weekend

i swear something happened to the blue of this photo in the upload. it doesn't look like that in iPhoto
a weekend of physical work outdoors. spring cleaning - of bunny cages, stalls, the chicken coop and the little barn where we store the chicken feed and feed the cats. plus lots of work in the garden. planting willow and moving some little oak trees. husband is creating a oak "hedge" in the middle of the garden to create a bit of protection from our ever-present west wind. cutting down last year's raspberry canes, working in the strawberry beds, preparing the soil for moving some asparagus that's way too close to the rhubarb (we didn't expect the rhubarb to do so well and get so big), fertilizing all of the fruit trees and bushes (that horse poo from the stalls had to go somewhere). it felt great. fresh, cool air. lots of sunshine (today at least). results that you can really see when you're finished. happy chickens. happy bunnies, happy horses. and the cats thought it was awesome that we were outside all day - molly and tiger thought we were there just to hang out with them. we even ate lunch in the garden today, it was so nice outside. tho' it clouded up and rained at the end of the day, i was tired by then anyway, so it was ok to go inside.

such a list of activities might sound a bit boring, but it felt so satisfying. there is something about honest, repetitive physical work and fresh air that soothes the soul. much of the time, i listened to various podcasts (99% invisible, radio lab and benjamen walker's theory of everything). it was good for my mind. the work was good for my body. and i think cleaning and tidying was good for my soul. it's just nice to do tasks where you see a concrete result when they are done. there's also something to there being no shortcuts. all of these things just take the time they take, there is no shortcut. i think it was just very good for me. i certainly feel much more at ease inside my skin at the moment. ready to welcome the week ahead with open arms, whatever it may bring.

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i did quite a lot of reading this weekend as well. i've got several books of essays on the go. ursula le guin's the wave in the mind. i've never read le guin before, but i do admire the way she thinks and she says, "i think best in writing." i can so relate. i'm picking and choosing among the essays in this book, reading whatever grabs my fancy, but her thoughtful way of looking at the world definitely makes me want to read more of her work. i'm not sure why i never had read her before. i especially enjoyed her essay on fiction vs. non-fiction. 

i'm also reading siri hustvedt's book of essays, living, thinking, looking. i have enjoyed her novels, but these essays are grabbing me much less than le guin's at the moment. there is kind of a haughty, over-wise, pretentiousness in them that i'm just not in the mood for. it's rather disappointing, actually, as i normally love her work.

the last volume is musings on mortality edited by victor brombert. it's got pieces on the topic by such folks as tolstoy, kafka, camus (the reason i ordered it from the library) and virginia wolff. not exactly light reading.

i'm also reading all russians love birch trees, a novel by olga grjasnowa on my iPad via the kindle app. i am not impressed with the kindle app, i must say. i haven't actually read that many books that way and i've never used a real kindle. i, a great writer-inner-of-books from way back, cannot stand the dotted underlining of passages according to what others have underlined. the help claims you should be able to turn it off, but it doesn't seem to work, at least not in my version. i find it so distracting and it makes me just loathe it. the app, not the book. i'm enjoying the book. it's fiction that feels quite autobiographical, which is interesting in light of reading the le guin. she talks about the way that writers are influenced by their experiences and suggests that they form a kind of layer of compost from which the writer draws her fiction.

quite fitting to think of words that way when my weekend was spent in the garden, don't you think?

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another thought-provoking look at the LEGO community
on the building debates blog.

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go for a walk and find the answers to life, the universe and everything. 

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this rather makes one not want to be on twitter.

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this will give your brain pain. in a good way.


Molly said...

I think Siri and Paul are probably completely unbearable irl, although I adore their novels!

Very impressed with all your garden work xx

Ariadne said...

Not only twitter, it can happen from any open public place. If I leave a bad comment under your blog, whatever! But what I really have understood so far with the internet and facebook frenzy is that people tend to misunderstand people!AriadnefromGreece!