I just heard Oberon screaming and crying and went outside. Poor puppy, still whimpering, jumped into my lap. We think it was essential farm lesson #1: Don’t touch the electric fence! I swear he’s grown A LOT in just over a week. Elder dog Zaphyre does not yet enjoy him, but is showing more tolerance. He’s become quite a celebrity in the neighborhood and is going to be a beautiful BIG dog and wonderful companion.
The weather has been so much lovelier, with sweet coolness in the morning and even a few maple leaves turning. Our home often smells of tomatoes, garlic, onions, eggplant, basil and other vegetable roasting to a thick reduction in the oven. When cooled I spoon the it into plastic bags and freeze. This will go on for several weeks. I learned last year that it’s safe to just cut corn off the cob and pop it right into the freezer. I’ve got about 25 packages so far. This year the cantaloupes and honeydew are ripening while the heat of summer fills the day. What sweet nectar! Listen. Do you hear the raspberries yelling at me? “Pick me! Pick me!”
The Garlic Festival was amazing! The bad news is that my Mal de Debarquement Syndrome symptoms kicked in again big time. It’s like bobbing up and down in water, like the floor keeps moving, like everything won’t stay still! This extremely unsettling and rare neurological condition was set off originally by a train trip out to Oregon and back about five years ago. I mention it because if this happens to you or someone you know you’ll have some awareness about it. I’ve joined an online support group, am doing my physical therapy exercises, and just trying to be easier on myself until the symptoms subside. (see www.mddsfoundation.org/)
Here’s some other news from the farm. A true story, as always.
So, says he, what about that hole in your soul?
Whatcha talking about? Got no hole in no soul. We were made perfect, don’t ya know?
Well, you may talk the talk, but I see a wide swath of nothing running right through you, darlin’.
How dare you? she’s thinking. How dare you see the nothing in me. The vacuum where sweetness should could reside if only.
If only, he interrupts her unvoiced thought, if only you gave yourself to pizza with basil. Or learned Swahili. How ‘bout snow boarding. Huh?
I don’t snow board. I hate being cold. I hate falling. I’m allergic to pizza. And what would I do learning Swahili? I’m in the middle of Minnesota, you dope head.
Acutely aware her excuses sound lame she studies her boot laces. The cuff of her jeans. Standing awhile in silence until,
Read any good books lately? he asks.
A torrent of something unleashes. A hawk cries out.
She gains control, then softly speaks,
I want to read braille, though the thought had never occurred until now.
The timbre of her voice so strange.
I want to caress every letter. Want god to breathe the birth of every sound into me. Want tapioca pudding piled in whipped cream beginning with word one. Word two I want Texas barbecue so hot it sizzles and a song swap with drunken lyrics under a full sky of screaming stars long before the second chapter even thinks of a start.
Then come this way. This way, says he.
Gives her a nudge. A trip. A shove.
Rolls down the ditch. Deep trench of green. With toads and bracken and crickets. Rotten raccoon bones. Wrappers of Mars bars. Cigarette filters crumbling to dust. Moss in her mouth mixed with elbows and knees.
So this is where braille begins. Letters conjugate themselves all over her.
Cool night air licks and stamps her in alphabets brand new.
The hole in her soul so engrossed it forgets.
Forgets to remember how empty it’s been.