Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Two More Cords of Wood Arrive Today

Yesterday morning’s walk was the warmest yet this year. Sheba and I went out at nine-thirty and it was already ten degrees. Birds were chirping, bees were interested in landing on my head, fir pollen coated the smooth surfaces of broad leaves (cough, sneeze) and Sheba was full of spunk, running ahead and jumping in a state of absolute glee.
I went grocery shopping and every time I go, I feel better. This time, I felt good because they are allowing fewer people into the store—they even stop couples, asking one of each couple to wait in the car. Plus, I found a bag of disposable gloves in my studio and they give me a greater sense of security when I’m in the store. 
I tidied up my shed and got it ready for my next two cords of wood, and I chopped some more kindling. That was the extent of my labour for the day; I just wasted my day, and that was just fine. But I’m getting restless. I’m actually feeling keen to do more wood toting and stacking and then to get busy in the gardens.
For fun, my new favourite thing is to look for books to get on Amazon. I chose four more yesterday. And as I search, my reading journey constantly amazes me. Something subconscious drives my choices—in big ways and small ways. A big way was when I suddenly switched from exclusively non-fiction (with particular foci on science, natural and cultural histories and medicine) to exclusively fiction including.  
The small ways being from binging on Canadian literary fiction, to Irish fiction, to translations, to everything published by P. D. Jmes to, most recently, Jonathan Franzen. Now, the genre doesn’t matter; I chose by reviews and awards and going from turn of the century Russian, to northern Africa, to LGBTQ. 
There have also been big gaps in my reading history. When I went on a journey of making paper sculptures (my dresses), during my extreme baking years and after my breakdown, when concentration was impossible.
Last night, just before eight, I lured Sheba into accompanying me on a sunset walk to a place about fifteen minutes to walk to from my house. It’s a place where I can see out through the trees, from the top of an escarpment, to the ocean. And last night it was windless and calm. The only sound was a single Raven calling from far away.
It was like being in church to be there is a place of such majesty and quiet and at such a supremely beautiful and powerful time of day. I thought of the sunset ceremony I’d witnessed on the ghats in Veranasi, so incredibly powerful to me. Sunset is a magisterial time of day. What virus?
Sunset walks will now be part of our daily experience.
There are moments when I wonder how I’m going to deal with three more months of this—like when I first wake up. There are other times when I feel that the social isolation is easy to handle and almost a source of joy—usually at the end of the day when the sun is shining, I’m in the spa and I have various consumables within reach as an option for further indulgence. All that, plus a certain pride and fulfillment in having got through another day and in things done—practical or optional and no matter how modest). 
Is it me or is it the magazine? I’m finding the New Yorker less and less interesting. It seems more American to me and so it’s far less interesting. I will not renew my subscription when my current one runs out.
My second two cords of wood arrive today. I’m thrilled to be able to do them in the finest of weather—sunny and warm, but not so warm as to have me sweating off pints of water. I want to get thirteen wheelbarrow loads done today because if I do that many each day, I’ll be done on Thursday.

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