Saturday, April 14, 2012

To This May

They know so much more now about
the heart we are told but the world
still seems to come one at a time
one day one year one season and here
it is spring once more with its birds
nesting in the holes in the walls
its morning finding the first time
its light pretending not to move
always beginning as it goes 

-W. S. Merwin

The weather is almost cruelly lovely today. It's drizzling, ever so lightly, and there's a delicious light wind blowing. I went out into the garden earlier in the morning with my newspaper and the dog. I'd planned on reading the paper, but I mostly just used it to swat the dog as I chased him around the lawn. Panda ran before me in huge panting circles, pausing only to drink from the outdoor tap. He loves this weather.

After we came indoors he spent a long time sitting before the French windows looking outside at the drizzle. His paws kept slipping on the tiled floor till he gave up and lay down. Now he's lying on his back, his paws in the air, mouth open, eyes buttoned shut. I've never seen anyone look more content.

Weather like this makes me very restless. I want to grab Panda, bury my nose in his fur, and dance him around the room. I want to run outdoors and go where the day takes me. I want to look at trees and marvel at the shades of green the raindrops bring out. I want the raindrops to catch in my hair, turning each strand silvery. I want to bake loaves of bread and smell the mixing scents of yeast and rain. 

Instead, I sit here under a fluorescent light and read about the Forty Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Summer storm

I'd been feeling restless all day, but I couldn't figure out why. At around 4 pm -when I got up to make myself yet another cup of coffee- I looked outside. The light had changed from bright yellow to sepia and the trees rustled ominously. I whistled for Panda and we sat outside, watching leaves blow across the lawn.

I love the sheer power of a summer storm. There is a terrifying energy in the rumble of thunder, the rush of wind, the dancing dust that stings my skin. I kept a soothing hand on Panda's neck as he watched with me, bright-eyed and rapt. In an instant it was as dark as night. The afternoon sun was hidden by the hurrying clouds. Panda whined, sensing something strange was going on.

We sat and watched as the rain came down and the smell of the earth rose from below our feet.

Afterward, I went for a run. The fat, stinging raindrops soaked me to my skin.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

T came over last night. I cooked. Spaghetti in a roasted tomato sauce, and garlic bread. I read of this really cool trick in an article by the food stylist of Julie and Julia. You toast your buttered bread in the oven till it's browned and hard. Then you rub a raw garlic clove over it. The bread acts like a grater and the stuff smells divine. Toast, butter and garlic. Sigh.

We watched Say Anything and kept pausing the movie to talk instead. It's nice to believe they would have lived happily ever after, no reader? I like movies like these, because you know that no matter how miserable the people in them are, in the end it will all get better.

Panda -who is rather mercurial with visitors- was safely locked up with a rubber bone and a bowlful of bread and milk. He does not like being locked up and he grumbled all night. He also chewed up a pillowcase, but I suppose he felt entitled.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reader, I did something stupid. And I'd been doing so well... This just goes to show, it never ever pays to get smug. Smug I was, and self-congratulatory, all far too soon. No, no, I don't mean to tell you what I did. I don't want to be read a scold. I'll just promise it won't happen again, OK?
It is morning now. The light from my window is harsh and intrusive, but golden. Let us begin again then, as we mean to go on. Just, first, I need to detach the surprisingly strong little dog who's chewing on my sleeve.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I feel surrounded by words; I swim in a sea of them. They leap out at me from pages of books, from the lips of people, from my memories. I see them wherever I go and I both hate and love them. They say so little, and never do what I wish they would. I wish I could bend them to my will. I would use them to change people's minds, but they are stubborn and never do what I ask. They are beautiful too, when they fall just the right way. They tease me by flowing from my fingertips some days. And then, just like that, they're gone. There are so many things I wish I could say, if only I could find the words for them.

That's another reason why I love dogs. Communicating with them is so simple. Sit. Eat. Fetch. One-word sentences, terse and to the point. When did language become such a barrier? How did it become so complicated to use? Now I weigh each word I utter. I preface the harsh ones with gentle ones, hide the truth in subtleties, hide my hurt behind funning, and talk in half-meanings, half-sentences, half-ideas. I use them and I hate them and I love them. I long for silence, but they dance in my head anyway, teasing me, taunting me. They are how I think. To not think in words would be to not think at all. I don't remember sights or images or colours, only words. I swim in them and I sink in them.