Yesterday I finished the big, complicated editing project that's been swallowing me up for the past couple of months; and with that off my desk and the Homer class behind me, I'm entering this weekend feeling unbooked and unleashed and giddy and free . . . a foolish sensation that housework will quickly squelch.
Tom is planning to ride the ferry to Peaks Island and spend the day there taking pictures. I am planning to deep-clean the kitchen (vacuum out cupboards, wash the pretty bowls and glassware that sit on the open shelves, scrub the refrigerator). Art versus chore. But the chore needs to be done. As does the art.
Between times I'll walk up to the library to fetch the volume of Cheever short stories I'm borrowing. I'll fiddle with my stack of new poem drafts. See? Art won't entirely be limited to Peaks Island. I can think about words and scour refrigerator shelves. It's one of my superpowers, along with being able to smell a gas leak.
I like to do a job: a kitchen, a poem, as the case may be.
As the shadows fall, I'll start simmering minestrone. I'll light a fire in the wood stove, and curl up on the couch with my library book. Eventually Tom will thump in through the back door, red-nosed after a long day in the cold island wind. He will not notice the clean kitchen, and he will not read the poem, but he will smile at me. Every day he smiles at me.
Secret work is its own delight. Ink on a page, soap on a wineglass. Bubbles foam, then burst. Scent of lemons. And now a stanza demands a line.