Sunday, April 26, 2009

it's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away

For unknown reasons my body awoke at 10 after 6, and I have to confess that I was really excited by the prospect of sitting on my side porch, newly cleaned and organized, while sipping my coffee in the quiet of a Sunday not yet writhing. The big, debuting sunrise had passed and given way to wild tangerine rivers of stringy clouds that burned off quickly as the sun took its position in the daytime sky, but really, I'm so estranged to such a thing that I'll take the leftovers and be happy with them.

Somewhere far enough off that I had to focus my ears and wait for a second listen, a rooster crowing set my heart to longing. My chicken dreams have been put on hold for stronger desires to travel, and waiting to see what Uncle Sam has up his sleeve for the end of the year. There are reasons aplenty to explain why now just isn't time for chickens, yet that rooster crowing from who-knows-where thumps at the bruise. Everything works out and my life right now needs to maintain freedom - to bend, to move, to be my part of the Army plan.

Traveling is currently more critical anyway. As I contemplated the ramifications of literally pulling out my hair and those of quitting grad school, I also grabbed frantically at anything that would make my academic life worth living. Last semester me and my big dreams had proposed a month long road trip paired with an independent study in travel writing, which sounded great but ran into some logistical issues that made it less appealing in the end. I had dropped the idea and had conceded to the normal class schedule and my first free summer in quite a while. That was before the academic crisis occurred, which ultimately brought me back to it for modification. Dad and I have been planning a smaller scale road trip to Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC, and so the familiar thought halted me one day like a child suddenly consoled for no reason. He and I will be back before June starts up, leaving the rest of summer wide open. I stopped by my non-fiction professor's office to get the angst off my chest and to ask her about the independent study again, under different circumstances. Talking to her was helpful and she agreed to throw together this elixir of a summer course. I'm still mostly at the drawing board weighing possibilities but a drive up coastal California, from Los Angeles to the Sonoma Valley is in the lead. And not to be outdone, Mom suggested a short cruise to Mexico just yesterday. It won't be like a summer backpacking Europe or India or Vietnam or Africa (all dreams), but it will be a wealth of opportunity and a reason to write, as well as a reason not to lose my hair at the hands of stress and frustration.

The container garden takes up the same cause as the chickens would - abandonment - although I'm pretty sure there is an easy solution, some kind of garden variety life support that I just haven't yet found. I've looked at a number of "irrigation systems" and yesterday I found some Plant Nanny's at a local shop downtown. The only problem there is the requirement of wine bottles. I have eleven large pots and each of the Nanny's terra-cotta stakes requires a wine bottle filled with water. Between now and mid-May I would be hard pressed or consistently annihilated to come up with eleven empty bottles.

Save the absence-induced possibility of sun scorch, the garden still aims for success. Now that it is written pests will probably descend upon my tender sprouts like plagues of locusts. But until then, they are growing in leaps and bounds, and while I feel like The Ignorant Gardener, last night talking to Dad about my thriving promises of fruit, he commended the knowledge I have somehow found room for and managed to cram into my already over-taxed headspace. I, however, will likely continue to describe my forays into veggie cultivation as "gardening by the seat of my pants," at least until next year when I hope to be the reigning queen of tomatoes, squash and peppers.

With that and the sun securely positioned, I need to go heat up my coffee and do something relating to school today. As much as I keep hoping it will, that final paper is not going to write itself.

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