Listening to Neko Case this morning as I write … a new favorite whose music and lyrics are kinda hard to categorize (for me at any rate). She’s from Vermont .. and “haunting” is the main word that comes to mind. Loving it!
It’s a misty, dampish Monday – the kind of morning that I imagine the plants love. Such a contrast to last Friday evening, when I took some time to sit out on the deck and just be out there in the twilight. The light and shadow played across the lawn – staunch maples round and full in silohuette against the bright sun still dancing across the sheep’s pasture. Cacaphony of birdsong … soft voices down the hill at the neighbors … clouds floating in the sky above the far hill. As the light sank, the birdsong retreated deeper into the woods … and as it receded, the mosquitoes arrived … and I retreated into the house.
Boy did I feel grateful and lucky … for friends … family … a place to live … food to eat .. beauty .. health … time.
Yup … I got the idea in my head that it would be neat to have an arbor out by the chiminea.
This was in part born of the need to give a grape vine that I’ve been nurturing a place to grow into.
It also relates to my love of gates/openings … how they frame the landscape and evoke feelings of … adventure, I guess … hopefulness and mystery. Wondering and wandering.
It was also inspired by Nourishing Words’ wattle fence post (although Nourishing Words had absolutely nothing to do with what I created … let me be absolutely clear about that).
Also … those of you who have seen HollyCornblog’s handiwork will probably note a significant difference in the final output. (I think I was probably more damaged by my upbringing than she was … that’s the best I can come up with.)
All that being said, I had a blast creating the arbor … lurching into the project with no planning to speak of … and making it up as I went along.
I used wood that we were saving to cut up for the chiminea, and fit it together more or less randomly … sweating and wrestling it into place while the chickens milled around underfoot and the dogs watched from the deck. Did they look disdainful? Worried? Nah – I think that was my imagination.
In the background, if you look carefully, you can see Topanga … the eldest of our chickens … a survivor of many, many seasons here.
As people trickled home yesterday afternoon, I was heartened and a little surprised that no one exclaimed in horror or demanded that I pull down this rickety ediface. (See what happens when you leave JordanCornblog home alone?!)
The next 48 hours?
I shall keep you posted… and in the meantime, please stop by for a visit sometime … you can’t miss it!
I leave you with this haunting poem from today’s Writer’s Almanac …
by Thomas Lynch
He’ll have been the last of his kind here then.
The flagstones, dry-stone walls, the slumping thatch,
out-offices and cow cabins, the patch
of haggard he sowed spuds and onions in—
all of it a century out of fashion—
all giving way to the quiet rising damp
or hush and vacancy once he is gone.
Those long contemplations at the fire, cats,
curling at the door, the dog’s lame waltzing,
the kettle, the candle and the lamp—
all still, all quenched, all darkened—
the votives and rosaries and novenas,
the pope and Kennedy and Sacred Heart,
the bucket, the basket, the latch and lock,
the tractor that took him into town and back
for the pension cheque and messages and pub,
the chair, the bedstead and the chamber pot,
everything will amount to nothing much.
Everything will slowly disappear.
And some grandniece, a sister’s daughter’s daughter,
one blue August in ten or fifteen years
will marry well and will inherit it:
the cottage ruins, the brown abandoned land.
They’ll come to see it in a hired car.
The kindly Liverpudlian she’s wed,
in concert with a local auctioneer,
will post a sign to offer Site for Sale.
The acres that he labored in will merge
with a neighbor’s growing pasturage
and all the decades of him will begin to blur,
easing, as the far fields of his holding did,
up the hill, over the cliff, into the sea.
“Himself” by Thomas Lynch, from Walking Papers: 1999-20098. © W.W. Norton & Co., 2010. Reprinted with permission.