1. It seems my mind has been too fragmented to write regularly, at least here, and I accept that it may be so for some time. It is not actually a matter of discipline because I do sit and write each day; or perhaps it is a matter of forcing myself into disciplined focus. And yet, I am content to let things slip by, unremarked, without analysis. I am sure this will change in time but for now this transitional time is both a time of discovery and a time of letting life slide past, a floating perhaps, and perhaps something will come of it in time.
2. More small tulips are blooming. I love their petit blossoms, and the slowly evolving scattering of blossoms is like an extended goodbye. I don't really plan on taking any plants with me from this house to the next one. I did, with few small exceptions, take care not to plant anything too unusual, or which I would feel attached. Besides, I do feel strongly that this garden is itself meant to be here, it is not mine to take. This was simply my contribution to this space. Whether anything will last, or be changed is beyond me, but I am content.
3. I have just finished reading Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett. There were passages that were quite beautiful, and at least one small segment I found moving, but I haven't really figured out whether the book simply did not resonate with me, or perhaps it was more that I did not resonate with it. Perhaps it is simply that the fragments of my life at the moment and the fragments which made up the book were in opposition, with the book feeling far too insular. It is certainly odd that I would think that, as I am a master of insular over-thinking. But there it is. It is also possible that my own struggle with the book has had an effect on my own lack of writing, my discomfiture with the book amplifying my dissatisfaction with my own writing and therefore creating the aforementioned inability to blog. Or perhaps I am just too scattered to pay attention to such detailed, and admittedly at times profound, focus on the mundanities of the every day. As I stated, there were passages of great beauty, and Bennett does have the ability to capture and transform stream-of-thought musings into something more poetic than most of us probably manage on a daily basis.
4. Have you watched the Netflix series Chef's Table? I just recently discovered it, and have watched season one and half of season two over the last month or so. It is not something I want to watch quickly. I want to watch and savor and occasionally watch certain episodes again. Yes it is about fancy food in fancy restaurants, and although I have eaten in some of these restaurants I may never do so again, and I am content. I yearn for something simpler now, but at the same time, I find the stories moving, especially the way the chefs speak about the elements of their cuisine, the food itself, and its connection to both the earth that nourishes, and the community of people who are dining. They practice both an elevated and an elemental simplicity. Never think that simplicity is easy. Listening to these chef's speak I am reminded of how we are each connected to this earth, and how each item and each moment is connected and precious. I am reminded of the joy of cooking and why I love to cook, even in my simple and rather crude way. I am reminded of the pure gift of sharing food with other people, of the bounty of this earth. I am also reminded also of how disconnected most of us, at least those of us in Western Industrial Societies, are from the actual world we live in, the food we eat, and the cycle of life that nourishes us. The series makes me want to cook, even a simple burger, but to pay attention, and it makes me want to work in the garden, to take time to smell the dirt and notice the new leaves, and think about my place in this world. A stretch perhaps but what does art do but cause us to stretch?
5.. It is Big Ears time once again in Knoxville. I will not be attending as much this year as I have in the past couple of years, not because there is less to hear, but simply because there are too many things to do elsewhere. But I will still go, and already my heart and brain are overflowing with music. For me, the magic started last night with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra playing with Carla Bley. From the moment I walked in, and I did miss the beginning, the music carried me away. I was reminded of the way music focus and transforms us, and ties into the essential spirit and eternal motion of life. The music is all around us every day, in the sound of the wind, even of the grass growing, but we are usually too distracted to notice. In music however, we reconnect to something elemental, an eternal prayer of sorts, that has the power to take us beyond ourselves, connect us to the universe, and even bring us back home, safely into where we most need to be.