Done at last–

At about three a.m. on Friday morning, I mailed my one hundred and thirty-two-page opus, the lawn-care article, off into the world and entered upon a new phase of life: the post-organic-lawn-care-article phase. I feel dazed.

When we were children, my sisters and I each had a special adult. Mine was Shifra, and she gave me two gifts, aside from the intangibles. One was The Bat Poet, one of those odd, unlikely, perfect books, which I have loved my whole life but whose author I had to look up for this post: Randall Jarrell, the poet, with pictures by Maurice Sendak. No wonder it is so beautifully crafted, a gift to the world.

Near the end of the book it is autumn, and the bat’s squirrel friend is so busy carrying nuts to his hole that he can’t stop to talk or to listen to the bat’s poems. Then one day when he reports in a dazed voice, “It’s full. My hole’s all full.”

That’s how I feel at the moment.

Of course, in my case it isn’t full; but then in my case there isn’t a hole, so how could it be full? But I digress. The article’s not even, properly speaking, finished, because I haven’t written the section on starting a new lawn. To those who say, quite reasonably, that I haven’t finished, or who ask in puzzled tones, “Isn’t starting a lawn sort of–um–central to such an article?” I can only say, Can’t we talk about something else? At least this weekend?

I’ve been on a self-imposed blogging blackout, which seemed only reasonable as I’ve also given up friends, exercise, mountains, reading, sewing, and sleep. My life’s become a litany of what I’ll do when I’ve finished the article.

Now I get to do some of those things. So yesterday afternoon I spent four hours in the garden—what luxury! For months my husband, who has re-invented himself as a photographer, (stephendurbin.com) has been going alone to gallery openings and art shows, but last night I went with him to the weekly art walk in nearby Livingston. We spent an hour touring the galleries, sipping wine, sampling the fruit and cheeses offered on such occasions, and perusing paintings and photographs. At one gallery we heard a young woman ask a guy what had brought him to Livingston, and he responded, “Well, I read about this town that had fourteen art galleries and two stop lights….” Says it all.

It also has a fine restaurant, where we ate elegant desserts. Replete, we came home and went to bed, and I slept in this morning until almost noon. I could get used to this life.

One Response to Done at last–

  1. 132 pages? Now, how long did that take? I wrote 50 pages last weekend for my gardening / memoir / nature book, but I can’t black myself out, as you say, and deny everything else. I want to. I crave to. I need to, even. Kudos to you, though, amazing!
    Careful, Benjamin. We were getting along so well. Then you show up on my blog, going on about writing fifty pages in a weekend–without giving up the rest of your life. Is that nice? Is it necessary?
    The article took months, largely because I kept researching and insisted on tracking info to its source–you know, refusing to take someone’s word that “according to the EPA, lawnmowers and other garden tools account for 5% of the volatile organic compounds released yearly in the U.S.,” but actually trying to find the original EPA report. Aarrgghh.
    I need to dive back in soon, but for now, a blessed hiatus.
    –Kate

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