Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The snow is melting away. Now I can see my garden, and I can see the apple tree that fell into my garden last autumn. Coltsfoot, that peculiar weed, is blooming along my cellar wall, and I have taken the brazen step of turning on the outside water faucet.

I feel cheerful but prosaic, as if all my ideas are wending into plowed furrows. It is a surprise to remember that I have written several books.

According to Gerard Manley Hopkins, "What you look hard at seems to look hard at you." This is true of rivers and dogs and dirty barns and coltsfoot (that peculiar weed), as well as large photographic portraits of Civil War-era ancestors hanging in the dark back hall of a New Jersey ranch house. I  wonder if it is also true of chain-store merchandise, and today I will try to find out. It is a shame to spend the first day of a false summer at the Bangor Mall, but someone has to undertake that penance, and today is my turn in the stocks.

I hope you're enjoying these mixed metaphors. You might think of them as chain-store merchandise in awkward sizes and colors that poorly paid seventeen-year-old sales associates have crammed higgledy-piggledy into the clearance racks. By the way, I have never tried to write higgledy-piggledy before. It's not as easy as it looks.

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