Monday, April 6, 2009

a long-winded narrative of my hard-working, lovely weekend


one work outfit for the weekend

A slush storm whipped around outside today and I am a bit dazed by the brightness of white that has eroded the brightness of green typical of the first week of April in Michigan. How strange, really, that this weekend consisted of lots of hard, physical, fulfilling labor in the sunny outdoors and now the sun has stepped away behind the gray of precipitous clouds.

I took Friday off from work and drove down to my parents to drop off my little rollerskate of a car and pick up my father’s orange, elephant of a truck. I found myself at ikea buying a cd tower and marveling at the unimaginative minds of the Swedes when it comes to envisioning families. The family lot runs adjacent to the side of the enormous maze-like store and the lot consists of about 40 parking spots for families. However, the markers on every space consist of a representation of a hetero-normative family. Vomit.


driving big orange

At first, I was like: oh well that stick figure in something like trousers could be me and that stick figure in something like a skirt could be k, but really we know who they are depicting and it is not a family like mine.

I left ikea for home and made myself the drabbest rice and chickpea dish for lunch. Then I set to cutting open the cracks that are looming in our backroom’s walls in preparation for filling them up with plastery, stiff stuff. See, we are redoing the room so our friend A can move in with us. And this room is kind of in shambles, but it is downstairs away from our bedroom and therefore more private. Before we started in on it, it had a terrible mother-of-pearl 1987 peach tinted wallpaper on two of the walls and it still has an awful linoleum covering the floors.

Two weekends ago we hauled shit out of it and with the shit, came this heavy energy. Really, you all have heard me roar on about how lovely our house is and how good it feels, well for the first time this dreary, overwhelming feeling came falling off the walls into my head and heart and punched my chest like weighty cement. I had to leave the house it was so intense. But then we washed and scrubbed and opened the windows and let out all of the sadness that clung to this rarely lived in space.


the back room (A hard at work)

So, on friday I cut the cracks and filled them with durabond and cut and filled and cut and filled. And then I went to the bar and had a couple of beers with friends (it was P’s birthday) and we took a napkin and measured our foreheads. I have the smallest among the 9 of us who were out.


measuring tm's head

We came home from the bar and I set to filling more cracks.
And then I had to sleep.

On Saturday, I woke early, drank coffee, ate an egg and toast, and picked up T to go fetch some compost. The fellows at the compost yard were confusing, and I drove in circles in the mud and finally ended up with over 2 yards of compost in the bed of the truck. We came back to my yard and shoveled and wheel barreled load upon load throughout my garden beds. Then we headed to the community garden and dumped two loads each into our four beds. Then we went to T’s and hauled more compost to her beds.

Then R brought us back delicious burritos from Zorros. They tasted so good. The burrito was full up with black beans and rice and peas and carrots and guacamole and lettuce and pico sauce. Always, after working hard, thick food tastes so delicious and nourishing and in the company of dear ones it is even better.

After lunch, we set back to shoveling more of the moist, beautiful stuff that helps nurture green rooted things to full life. I widened out T’s front bed with my hefty hips, sturdy weight, and sharp shovel. The finished product looked lovely—A dark rounded mound waiting for R and T’s bright dahlias to be planted and then grown up to grace us with their colorful petals and reminders of life.

We finished.

I went home and talked over our fence with my neighbor about the traveling demon that occupies her apartment. It was the first I heard of the hauntedness of that house and will one day reflect on that more…

While I was out, K, sanded and sanded my patchwork. I came home to the most adorable woman—covered in the fine grit of plaster; bandanas covering face and head; little eyes poking out from beneath large, wiggly goggles.


my beloved--glowing in the dust

Then, A arrived and helped k clean up the gritty mess sanding had left. I ran out for the paint. And then we primed the walls. Though, by this time exhaustion had fallen over my bones and the stank of the primer was leaving me breathless and gaggy. A worked hard and rolled all of the walls.

Then k and I we went to Yotsuba and I ate Udon noodle soup with fried tofu and savored the warm, salty broth. At 8:15 we were still out and about grocery shopping. We stopped over T and R’s to drop off some delicious beer (dogfish head India brown ale is yum, yum) and we ended up staying for a wee visit—a fine end to a long, hard, and beautiful day.

Sunday, I shoveled 6 more wheel barrels of compost and widened my side vegetable bed. In the afternoon, when my work was done, I went to the library and read in the window by the woods all of Mary Oliver’s Red Bird and savored her words and the teachings wrapped up in the observations she captures in fragments of sentences and full sentences on the stirrings of all the living going on around us and without us—all the breathing and decaying and anticipation of more living and the final falling to our ends.

I checked out my books and headed home. At home again, I cut onions and peeled carrots and chopped potatoes and ripped through cabbage and sliced celery and garlic and created a mess of a meal for friends who are new parents. We drove over to drop the food off and stayed for an hour. I held the wee, new baby and thought about children and the raising of them and held a brief longing in my heart that then fell away to its own end.

4 comments:

f said...

Dear Green Thumb,
So I had a healthy vermicompost going for over 8 months. And all my worms just up and died this weekend. Just vanished, dissolved. They didn't escape. I was so depressed, it was really rather ridiculous...I took care of those little guys as though they were pets. I'd feed them and declare, "they're doing such a good job!"

I have no idea why they died...maybe my compost was too acidic? It wasn't too wet. Now I'm paranoid to use it for fear it had some weird parasite or mold. The irony of unhealthy compost...

Our neighbours came home with their new baby finally too. He was born over 3 months early and somehow made it through all of that. I don't know why some do, and others don't. Words like 'fighter' are not really right for me...so much more than one person's intention or abilities. He is still so tiny and fragile - his mamas worked full-time while he was in the hospital so they didn't lose their jobs. Somehow we all pull it together in bits and pieces, fits and starts. So rarely all at once.

I'm glad you keep on writing here. I love seeing your posts pop up -- never know what they're going to hold!

jay said...

Ah I love your stories! And love to see both of your lovely faces :)

starrhillgirl said...

Yay! Here you are! Y'all are cute!
Ok, enough exclamation points.

F, I think all your worms came to VA - mine were far from dormant over the winter and there are thousands and thousands now. Horror movie-like amounts. For real. I think it was all the neglect I showered on them. You should try again - maybe they just moved somewhere else in your yard?

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