Saturday, August 31, 2013

Aug 23, 2013

              We were supposed to get rain last night but didn't, and a beautiful cool morning dawned. Now it is the end of August and you can feel the difference in lateness in the dawn without putting a specific time on it. The morning had the chill of early autumn. The sky was clear and as the sun came up the dark tinge in the sky vanished, turning startling light blue. All this replacement of darkness with light takes about twenty minutes. The sun is very bright and the chill in the air will soon vanish. I have weed whacking to do and must dig up another row of potatoes. My big apple tree is finally starting to fruit. I planted it four years ago. Last year it had numerous blossoms, but a late season frost and snowstorm killed all the buds. The blossoms were prolific this year, but they remained in bloom hardly a day, it seemed, then vanished, and I thought sure this year was lost also. But a small crop of extra large Macs hang on the limb. They are somewhat dinged up in small ways, but I would never spray. For some reason the insects have not been troublesome this summer. Usually I have to pull a half dozen fly nests off the tree, but none so far this summer. Today I backed up my truck against it as it is beside the driveway, and I stood on the pickup bed, searching among the leafy branches and not quite ripe hanging fruit for a caterpillar nest I might have missed from the ground. I found one, trimmed the small limb the nest was on and threw it away. The tree seems a tough strong growing tree. I have hardly trimmed it, but the limbs are beginning to spread roundly in a natural umbrella. There is another apple tree nearby. I hope that one will get going. A Beech I was cutting for cordwood fell on it a couple of years ago. I had to cut it back severely. That is the way it is around here; when you are always in construction accidents happen. Our Lilac flowered beautifully this year, and now finally the apple tree. I'm hoping to get a strawberry patch going, and a couple of blueberry bushes. Which brings up the topic that has been bothering me quite a bit lately: if I am going to do writing, how can I do all this other stuff too? Sometimes I think I ought to move to a place where there is nothing else to do but write; and then the situation would be better. But at the same time I do make progress. Writing gets done. The apple tree blossoms, bears fruit, blueberries happen, strawberries, blackberries. I am a gatherer. This would have been a good summer if only my garden had not got drowned in June and July. I get a little, a few squashes, a few green peppers, potatoes, corn, but nothing like the normal abundance. I was looking at my half dead garden this morning, the plants so tiny, or still flowering and three weeks already behind and yet no fruit. Never before in my life have I had such failure in my garden. I have taken inspiration from it, learning how nature mends, and perhaps that is a theme good enough to write a story about.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Advice to Rememberers

Do not face in terror that tragic past:
go to it gently, softly, but bravely go;
remember him, whom you know, your lonely I.
Make visions. Fix on them a decent light;
do not addle them in a mysterious mist,
or confuse them with exaggeration,
or amaze with heroical intrigue,
or sweeten with fine inexactitude;
or invent, with great strain of mind, theories,
grand designs of curves or circles, whorls
which ever, as if a time, I wouldn't doubt,
as uncivil as our own should advise;
let not the decent light be too sharp,
as if the mind were not already enough strained,
nor too dim with the heaviness of storms,
as if the heart were not already half-numb;
not luscious amber, not gaudy green,
blue, blackish-blue, black or sullen red,
but honest light, simply quietly honest.
Not a lot of theory for stumbling around,
not a lot of tricky design
from whose technique are yanked abstractions
grand, or not grand, depending on their time,
principles arbitrary now as ever;
or confuse with exaggeration or amaze with heroics or
sweeten with inexactitude,
but set your clear eye on what really transpired.
Be child of clear eyes, and don't listen
when they want to teach you to look
above around beyond the blossoms to measure the root.
I got too smart for the blossoms and went
around bent over searching out roots, and I got so
smart that when my first vision of beauty came
she looked so complicated and grand I left her standing
there talking to herself when all I had to do is extend
this trembling hand…

That's all. Are you telling me you can't look
with clear eyes? Or don't know what that means?
Be honest and when beauty shows
in the most odd and loony places
you'll be ready and not stand there stunned with your heart
in you throat, embarrassed, and walk away.

Date: 2013-08-22T06:33-0400

Author: Paul Gigas

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