I’ve got the window open to take in what natural air I can while tethered to the computer by a sense of necessity. At the beginning of the past week I had 65 pages of papers to write. At the beginning of this weekend I had 53. I hope by tonight to have no more than 35. I’m not a miracle or speed writer, I just don’t count things in progress until they’re done. The countdown will jump evolutionarily, that is, in fits and spurts.
I wish I were outside. I wish I had a sense of propriety in doing anything else, pulling weeds or trimming detritus off of my seedlings. I watered my maples as I saw Mary off, I took out the recycling and walked around the yard barefoot. I marveled at how soft, even with kung fu’s barefoot classes, the soles of my feet have gotten. I gently touched the budding leaves on my various trees. About two thirds made it. I must find a better means of starting the maple spinners my yard collects. This block has four maples on it, so it’s hard to tell, from a wintered stick, what each potted plant’s pedigree might be. I hope to have several each of Japanese, Silver, and Red maples.
One of my corkscrew willows seems not to have made the winter. It has no buds even while the other two have fully emerged, tiny leaves. The avocados I left out over the winter for an experiment have yielded the results I expected: Central American plants don’t like temperate winters.
I have compost to turn, planters to fill, ferns to move. My father’s arranged for the evisceration of my yard, the yews out front and the spruce in back are coming down soon. He didn’t ask my opinion on this. He knows I’m opposed to removing them. Once gone, I’ll have more space for beds and will have to fill them quickly so as to overcome the bitterness I’d feel starring at the stumps which could not be cut to below grade thus marking the remains of each tree act as its own tombstone.
For that bitterness at loss to come and for the worry over completing so many papers in two weeks, I’ve medicated myself. For the fatigue of sleeplessness and worry, a stimulant. To keep my mood from swaying away from sublimity at spring to a sense of mortality, a depressant. To keep from collapsing into a useless state of procrastination when the page count spikes my anxiety, a benzodiazepine. An upper, a downer, and a stabilizer, and with all three I call myself balanced.
* If you haven't seen It's Such a Beautiful Day by Don Hertzfeldt, you should. It's a quiet, beautiful, disturbing film focused on the existential nature of life and mortality. The animation is stark and simplistic, highlighting the story and the bodily horror that comes of being grievously ill. It's on Netflix now.