Back from a crisp night walk taking the dogs down to the park ~ watching Orion in the cold sky, feeling warm and muffled in scarves (want one of these). We are greeted by a nasturtium-orange fire of coals and daffodil flames, and I curl up into the rocking chair I just found yesterday when I had a "feeling" I ought to stop by my favorite thrift shop. I made chocolate beet muffins this afternoon, and they are delicious, not beet-tasting, and a deep chocolate red color. Tim, and I quote, said, "This muffin is one of the best things I've eaten, ever."
Frost was predicted last night, so I went out and gathered boughs of tomatoes, still green, and have hung them in the laundry room upstairs, hoping they may ripen there. Then I picked all the tender little flowers I could find - nasturtium, cosmos, a few bachelor's-buttons, a few late roses - and finally potted three begonias and red geraniums to bring into the house. The begonias have thrived remarkably, first as house plants last winter, then outdoors all summer. A sturdy plant is a great comfort.
~ May Sarton, in Journal of a Solitude
I thrifted a wonderful Nichols & Stone rocking chair yesterday and spent all evening in it directly in front of the wood stove with the above book, writing, making some little paintings and also reading some ee cummings and pablo neruda out loud to the dog, who seemed pleased. Reading poetry out-loud is nice, especially when I'm not sure what's going on ~ then, bam, a line or a phrase hits and I fall silent.
It took a few months of plans being foiled but the wood stove's finally in, and the fire's roaring. Mimi has already found her spot close, oh very close, to it. We need yet to finish and refine some things (like cut some brick) but over all we are pleasedwith it. And warm ~ it's so nice to be warm and inside at the same time. No more wool hats and down vests need be worn in the house any longer...
I've been trying to work more blank time into my life. Time where I'm not reading or writing a letter or on the computer or listening to a book on tape or running errands or cooking or reorganizing or puttering....
Just time to sit. Literally sit there and do nothing. (Or sometimes, lay in the tub and do nothing.) Part of me wants to run screaming when I think of doing this. How can I bear to just sit there? What will I do?
And another part of me says Ahhhhh. Sigh. Finally.
When I do it, I notice patterns in my thoughts. I notice how I want to run screaming. How I have to have something to do. What that might mean, and how lovely the newly vacuumed carpet is, and how the sunlight looks coming in through the window, and gosh how nice the house is to be in. I listen to the silence, (or the cat grooming herself) and a lot of times little clarifying thoughts come to me, as if they were just waiting for the space. Funny things like what to do with that empty shelf in the bathroom ~ medium things like what to plant in the garden next year ~ biggish things like where is my work headed next? and what makes me happy? They come because I'm unhurried and once I get past the initial fits (like getting up without realizing it because I thought of something to do and my body obeyed) I enjoy it so much, in a deep calm thoughtful way which I can see being useful in my everyday swing of things.
Fall is lasting forever and ever. Each time I go outside to run errands or to walk around the block, I slow down to gaze at specific trees, at showers of leaves, at green gardens blanketed with fuchsia and gold. Tim and I took the dogs to the park today ~ dusk was afoot. It was that time of late afternoon slanted sunlight, when things glow and the woods are magical. We wandered and looked.
My yam-butternut squash-carrot-beet soup turned out pink, delicious. The beets and carrots were the last pulled from our garden. I'm dreaming of next year's plantings ~ more sunflowers (to tempt in those charming goldfinches) and zinnias for cutting, one or two in a jar at a time.
But meanwhile I'm enjoying what's here. I keep making little drawings of my tea whenever I buy a tea out at lunch or wherever, and then sew them into my journal, which is starting to become more of a collection-book of colors and shapes than written thoughts.
I've had such a great summer and fall but I'm so looking forward to winter. To going inward, being cozy, writing, visiting cafes, dressing warmly ~ the ritual of hot tea, of warm bread, of crisp walks in cleansing air. Of snowfalls, a wood stove, morning sun, and the silhouettes of hawks in bare trees. To filling my journal, mulled cider, mums and moons and winter Polaroids!
The table is scattered with letters-to-write, books-to-peruse, and to-do lists. A mason jar holds purple carnations, and the photo twine is newly rehung with recent Polaroids. I have a few deadlines, but nothing dreadful.
I think bread is on the list for the morning, and soup definitely is ~ I presently have the world's largest yam in on the cutting board, ready for the pot. Added to that will be the year's last beets and carrots, straight from the garden. (I think the soup will be pink.) Later I will probably bring my studio work down to the dining table to soak in the sunshine.
Sometimes I run over to the 7-11 by my house for essentials (where else is a girl to buy a chocolate bar and InStyle at a pinch?) and today the cashier man picks up the bar and says, "thees ees not enuff chocolate for you," and he points over and there is a 5 lb bar of Hershey's chocolate sitting on the counter.