Saturday, October 04, 2014
Back at the Farm
I am so happy to be working at the shelter again that my outlook about everything has improved considerably. What there is about shoveling horse poop that is so therapeutic for me I certainly don't know. My practical problems are only marginally better, but my outlook has improved a lot. The world here in Maine is so beautiful as the leaves turn.........I think they are at their peak this week in this area. The foliage report in the newspaper shows what parts of the state are most colorful, tracking the blaze of color as it moves from North to South. We are last to get it even though parts of the state are more southerly than we are. Being an island, the ocean keeps us relatively warmer (or relatively colder depending how close the temperature is to 34 degrees).
I am doing my pre-winter thing.........the lower animal in me that prepares for winter. I am too far away genetically to have to think of storing food, and I don't can and freeze food like many around here do. But I do start finding my hats and mittens, digging out my winter coats. I re-arrange furniture, which must be a vestige of preparing my den, put up curtains, move plants a little way back from the windows. I drag out my sweaters from the drawers in the guest room, check that I remember where I put my long underwear. I find my boots. My fake woodstove, which has served as an end table since last spring, has to be moved to an as yet undetermined place where I can plug it in and sit in front of it in the evenings. Amazingly this activity is comforting, seeing the evidence of the predictable movement of the earth. No matter how our little individual lives go, nature goes on without the slightest notice. The death of that fly I just found on my window sill as I dusted it impacted nothing that I can perceive. Its life and death was just a clue.
When I read what I have written, I now inspect it with an editor's eye, thanks to my new distant friend Pamela. She has taught me a lot about writing, inadvertently (is that word necessary?). I now know that you can write beautifully and make your point clearly without overdoing it. I don't change anything that I write, but adverbs and adjectives leap to grab my attention in a sometimes menacing way. Did I really need that word "predictable"? What about "marginally"? Once when I had written a long essay for a course in school, the professor said the content was great, but I needed to "unpack" it. I love that way of expressing what I had done. I am wordy.........no doubt about it. I notice it. But as my own editor I choose to let the chips fall where they may.