The rain has been pouring hard for three or four hours, and now, at daybreak, lightning and thunder are rumbling in. This is our first downpour for weeks, and it's a very comfortable sound for a lazy Saturday morning. The garden must be delighted, and I know I am. There's nothing like a rainstorm for making a little house with a tight roof feel like paradise. And I have new electricity in mine!
In my dream book this morning I wrote: "Setting: a version of the Harmony land but much hillier, no house visible. For some reason I am back there again, and trying to dig a garden spot on a rocky, rooted, hilly spot that also seems to be half asphalt. It's like the perfect metaphor for trying to do anything in Harmony."
I suppose dreaming that metaphor is affecting my mood this morning, which I guess could be summed up as "feeling my age." I don't mean I want to blather on about hip replacements or complain about kids these days. More, I'm just suddenly aware of how hard I've worked, for so many years, under such gnarled circumstances, and am feeling amazed by it. Labor of the body, labor of the mind. In memory I find them difficult to separate. Read a few Hayden Carruth poems, and they'll explain what I mean better than I can myself.
I don't really have an agenda for today. I cleaned floors and bathrooms yesterday, and caught up on a pile of laundry, so I'll probably retreat upstairs to the Iliad for an hour or so. Tom wants to go watch a documentary of the Velvet Underground this afternoon, so I might go with him. Baseball starts mid-afternoon. I'd like to write, I need to pick up a book at the library, I've got to finish cooking down the pheasant stock, probably my children will phone . . .
It's not like we don't have challenges in this house--bathroom leaks and wonky power and unfinished renovations and a raw backyard--but daily life is so much easier. No brutal barn chores, no constant firewood, no more acres to mow, no little boys, no mesmerizing loneliness, no perpetual awareness of being an outsider and a stranger and a freak. I feel guilty about it sometimes, as if I've given up, gotten soft, here in this mild liberal neighborhood, with trash pickup once a week and a flurry of poets around the corner.
But here I am.