Sunday, February 17, 2013

No Matter What

Well, the azaleas sure were pretty while they lasted. The freeze we had last night bit them hard and the blossoms are heads-down this morning and will be nothing but a memory in a day or two. We're supposed to get another hard freeze tonight.

So it goes. I got up at four this morning, remembering suddenly the giant begonias I am trying to root on the back porch as well as the orchid I'd brought home from my mother's room after she died. She took such delight in that orchid. Lily gave it to her and it seemed to bloom far more frequently than an orchid should. I pulled on Jessie's old bathrobe which has been hanging from a hook in the off-the-kitchen bathroom for years and which I've recently appropriated as my own and came out to a freezing darkness and brought the pots inside. Then I remembered that I'd forgotten to make coffee the night before and so I did that, too. I was having a hard night of it anyway, sleeping and waking and sleeping and waking. I would have settled down to read for awhile in the guest room but I couldn't remember where I'd put the book I'd been reading and so gave it up and went back to bed and eventually, I did sleep.

Forgetting and remembering. These are things I do most frequently these days.

Just now I am remembering a dream I had. I was at the beach and somehow, there was an entire herd of cattle, some of them in the water and some of them on the shore. Some of them were pure black and they were the glossiest things I have ever seen in dreamworld. They shone like ebony and all of the cattle had noses of that same black, some of them lined up together as they swam, their bodies underwater. I have no idea what that means. They rather delighted me, these bovine creatures I was sharing my beach with.

The mind is such a strange thing, is it not?

Despite my nocturnal ramblings and my dreams, I am in a fine mood this morning. It is cold but the sun is shining brightly, as brightly as it did in that dream and it reflects off the leaves of the magnolia, the camellias, the way it did off the water and the backs of the glossy black cows while I was sleeping. We have eaten our breakfast of pancakes and while I was making it, I made up some sourdough. One should not ignore the starter go for more than a week and I hate to throw some of it out in order to feed it. It just seems more sensible to make a loaf of bread with it. There is laundry running and I am not sure what we are doing today. And even as I say that, I realize that the day is slipping away as days will do. The older I get, the more loath I am to allow that to happen. To let a day go by without having something I can point to and say, "I accomplished this, at least." Quite frequently, the thing I can point to is something I have written here. It may not be much, but that is my joy. In the library book I am reading which is yet another Alexander McCall Smith novel, there is a discussion about that which is merely a talent or a job one has and that which is an intrinsic part of who one is. A politician is no longer a politician after he retires from office but a painter who is no longer painting is still a painter, is he not? And the person in the book who was speaking said something to the effect that painting is not just something he does, it is the very idea of the painting he is about to do which gets him out of bed every day.

I pondered this.
I do not really think of myself as a writer and yet, is it not the idea of this sitting and writing which gets me out of bed every day? Of course I would get up anyway, I suppose. The needs of the chickens and the dogs alone would be reason to do that. And yet...
There will be a day when I don't have either chickens or dogs. I am ecstatic at the idea of not having dogs eventually and saddened at the the idea of not having chickens but that is the truth of the matter- that one day I will have neither. And what will get me up then? What will pull me from my bed which most ironically feels the best and most satisfying when it is time to leave it?

I believe it will still be the writing. I think. I hope. I may forget to make the coffee or bring pots of rooting plants in during a freeze but I hope I will remember to sit and write every day. It is as unthinkable to me that I would forget to do that, that I would not yearn to do that, as it would be for me to forget my name, to forget to eat.

All right. There. I have written it all out for now. The dreams and the cold and the dropping azalea blossoms which the freeze robbed of life. The desire to write.

Time to move on to other things. There is this day in which the birds sing and the chickens scratch, seemingly unaffected by the cold. I have no idea what I'm doing with it, this day.

But. I have written. And in doing so, I have satisfied some inherent need within me.

Thanks for coming along with me, those of you who are. I would wish for you that there is something you do every day of your life if at all possible which brings you as much satisfaction.

Yours in words...Ms. Moon


  1. Well, hell, girl. You're a writer, that's what you are. We all know it. I turn faithfully to two blogs every day. Yours and Radish King. You are both writers. Very different but writers. And you have a daily discipline. I've snorted, laughed and cried while reading you.

    You're honest and true. And you take perfectly aimed shots at political nonsense. Between your stories of your family, your shining inquiry into yourself and your Florida world, I have a pretty good idea of who you are. Which is why I unreservedly love you.

    Good morning to you, dear Mary.

    XXX Seattle Beth

  2. You are a brilliant writer and I am glad that you love to write and it is an integral part of your life because I like to read your writing. I hope you never stop. S Jo

  3. I can see a day when I am very happy to stay in bed - hell, I'd do it now if I could. It's also the best place to write! However, I have read Harriet the Spy, so I won't tempt fate.

  4. We hope so too about the writing thing and you. Hell it's worth getting out of bed just to read it. And if you're not a writer, i aint jack squat.

  5. I just can't understand why you wouldn't define yourself as a writer, too. You are a woman, a writer, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a wonder.

  6. Beth Coyote- I am not sure I will ever be able to call myself a writer. I swear. But here I am, writing away.
    I sure as hell am grateful to know you, to have you in my life. If my writing has done one thing, it is that.

    S Jo- I am so glad you like to come here. So very glad.

    Jo- I can't imagine writing in bed. I must be sitting up at a table or a desk. I suppose that we are all different in that way.

    Ajax- Honey, I assure you, you are FAR more than Jack Squat. You delight and inspire me.

    Elizabeth- I am all of those things, I guess, but no more wonder than any of us are, made as we are of stardust. Thank you.

  7. Well it's most definitely worth getting out of bed to read your words . . . although this time (22.22) I'm in bed and I'm going to read them again.
    Lovely words, thankyou x

  8. I know that you will be happy without the dogs but thinking of you without chickens is difficult. I hope that you are still writing when that happens so you can tell me what it's like to be without Elvis and those hens.

  9. Bugerlugs- I have found my library book and am thinking I might go cuddle down in the bed, even though it is early here. Sleep well, my friend.
    Sleep well.

    Syd- I love that you said that. You know me so well.

  10. I dislike my cat as much as you dislike your dogs. Want to trade?

    Why do we suddenly remember things (and ruminate over them) in the middle of the night? Why can't these things come into our minds when we are awake and need to recall them?


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.