Sunday, April 30, 2017

Holding Pattern

Jonah is practicing his clarinet upstairs; notes heavy and round bounce down the narrow, steep attic steps.

R. and I spent the weekend building raised beds. I have seedlings started on the deck in a jerry-rigged coldframe: tomato, dill, basil, pepper, cucumber, snow pea. I have been in a foul mood for a while, though I have dug 72 square feet of sod and held the boards as R. joined them together, helped him lift the boxes into the narrow strip of land between the sidewalk and the street. I took the day off on Friday and ran and hiked 9 miles. I am beyond sore, but I don't want to stop moving. I don't want to think. I don't want to feel. I don't want to go back to work on Monday; I have dreams of being a teacher again, though that path feels impossible now, a ghost life.

I don't know how to write anymore, or so it feels. My mind remains empty, feels like a knot, or a box of air, some sickly flower, brown at the edges. I write lists: kestrel, ruby-crowned kinglet, black tailed deer, spotted towhee, northern flicker, Anna's hummingbird, thrush, robin, song sparrow; winter cress, allium, hawthorne, dogwood, radiation, layoff, seedlings, cold frame, sky.

When I hiked on Friday, I wanted nothing to do with forests.  I wanted the spread of the fog-covered Cascades and the coastal range. I wanted wind and sun, though there was mostly clouds. Walking between the trees filled me with a cold dread. I walked in and quickly walked out.

And now water through the pipes, Jonah clambering down  the stairs to hug me, shadows gathering in the narrow yard between our house and the neighbors. But the sky is clearest blue, the small patch I can see from my office. Tonight I suspect we will be able to see the stars.


  1. There are times like this. They do pass. I promise.

  2. What will you feel if you stop moving?