Contrary to the idea that all writers are practiced in the art of fallacy, I’m not much of a liar when it comes to writing. So, I’ll be honest and say that this spring was a long slog through bleak mental terrain. Depression reduces the world to a small and painful place; recovering from it is an act of expanding the horizon again, inch by inch. I wouldn’t say I can see forever at the moment, but I can see far enough to be free of claustrophobia.
Things that have happened in the last few months? I learned to wear my reading glasses, and even to remember where they are some of the time, which makes me feel accomplished, though nowhere near as accomplished as those who wear glasses all the time. If you do, I tip my hat to you. (I think the next step is to realize that when the words look terribly blurry, I should probably clean them.)
I’ve been working on clearing the saplings that have grown in along our stone wall boundaries. I’ve been using a pair of loppers and a bow saw, and I’ve developed blisters in interesting places on my hands, and bruises on the insides of my knees (use loppers on trunks over a certain size and you may have to resort to creative means of closing them). Most of the saplings are black birch, which mean I’m surrounded by the scent of wintergreen, and covered in sap and bits of leaves when I come in.
We’re pulling apart our house bit by bit, with the idea that it will fit together again in new and better ways. I’m considering taking apart our two non-functional lawnmowers as well. Sometimes figuring out how things fit together makes the world feel like a better place.
Writing? I have written. That also feels like an accomplishment. I’m considering making one or two short stories available on a private space here. If I do so, I’ll post a note so interested Driftwood followers can request a password.
One last bit of news–good. I’ve mentioned before that we’re the kind of neighbors no one wants because we leave a portion of our “lawn” as an aster meadow for butterflies, and another patch for the tall seeded grasses desired by our pair of Indigo Buntings. Last year, the Year of the Hawk, left a few blue feathers by the treeline in the backyard, and I grieved the loss of the male of the pair, a bird I watched from my bedroom window every year.
This year, a few weeks ago, I heard a familiar call. I haven’t seen him feeding in the grasses yet, but he’s been on the clothesline, and in a bush, and I hear him regularly. It may well be that it’s not the one I used to watch, but even if it isn’t, it’s good to know our offering won’t go unused.
It’s hope enough to push the horizon open just a little further.