Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Laying foundations

Raise high the roofbeams, carpenters!
            Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song!
Up with them!
            Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song!
A bridegroom taller than Ares!
            Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song!
Taller than a tall man!
            Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song!
Superior as the singer of Lesbos—
            Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song!
—to poets of other lands.

I used to read just to read. Stories went by like potato chips from a bag, leaving crumbs and a greasy ring. Sometimes it's still like that. "She'll read anything," they joked, "Even the back of a cereal box."

It was true. It is true. How can one not? Well, except that there isn't as much time. Even the quickest reader needs to show some discernment if time with books isn't going to be all junk. And maybe I'm so full of stories that my bucket is spilling over. As I move around the garden, snippets of writing, essays about gardening, thoughts and musings coalesce in my head. Carrying a voice-activated recorder would probably be smart.

But then I'd have to polish, to work, to get those essays out there.

Time be time, but it might be time to get the writing half of the reader dusted off.

Meanwhile, there are beans to plant, and bean beds to ready. Solving a problem before it's really presented, on the memory of the last time the problem showed up might be smart. And it might be work that is all for naught. I won't know if the very tall beans from last year will be better supported with a Very Tall Trellis or if I've spent an afternoon tying knots for no reason.

Not just twine and bamboo; it's soup and bean salad, green shoots pushing up through prepared soil, rough with hay and leaves, birds to thwart as they try to pull out sprouts before their time.

Calculating stresses, figuring out plans of attack, and wrestling with paragraphs that, like the beans, haven't yet manifested. If I can imagine bean plants and a harvest months from now, I can imagine an essay with polish, that says what I mean it to say. In the future.


Michelle said...

I used to read a lot also, but I just can't seem to find the time to sit down with a book any more. Or perhaps, it's something else. I'm forced by a sprained ankle to sit around with my foot up for a few days and do you think I'm reading one of the books that I have waiting to be read? Uh, no, it's been streaming Netflix, watching TED talks, and reading blogs. (And going stir crazy) Thank whatever that it's too difficult to wander into the kitchen and stuff my face.

Just how high are those bean supports?

Unknown said...

Holy bean trellis! I think I may need to try your idea. I, too, am teased about reading everything in sight. For a few years, I kept a journal of all the books I read, and one year the tally was 108. I've never understood how people say they don't have time to read. I reached that number while raising two young children, helping my husband start a company, working and gardening. Then again, I do read anytime, anywhere. I even read when drying my hair, which explains why I can never replicate what my hair dresser does. There's nothing better than a fabulous book, and perhaps one of these days, we readers will have our own books on the shelves. What are you reading now? Anything good?

Spiral Ginger said...

I am confused about your post. Why you create Bamboo foundation?

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Reading for me has definitely fallen by the wayside. There just aren't enough hours in the day. I read what I need to, just not as much for 'fun' any more.

Love your monster bean trellis. I have trepidation about planting beans this year, as voles moved into the beds last year, and wiped us out :( I think we need a cat.

Stefaneener said...

Michelle, reading is sometimes the only thing I can do. Videos, on the other hand, allow me to knit more easily (I can knit and read, it's just slower). Beans aren't even in yet -- must figure out how to thwart birds as well as building a structure for beans.

Julie, I'm with you. Reading first. That's what bathtubs were designed for. I just finished Flight Behavior, by Kingsolver, which makes me want to weep, the writing is so terrific. Fine story, but it's the craft. Argh.

Spiral Ginger, sorry. Maybe in a few months when the plants are 14' high it will become clear.

CVS, I'm so sorry about your voles. Do they only eat underground, or over? Maybe you could rent a terrier? Our cats are useless. . .

Unknown said...

Oh, I adored Flight Behavior--and I know exactly what you mean. Barbara Kingsolver's writing makes me want to throw in the towel...or work harder. She's just so talented. Sigh. I finished her book in one night and paid dearly the next day--so sleepy!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

That's some trellis! Whoo Whee! I do love a good bamboo structure.

(Hey do you think that could have your sweetie glance at my blog and give his opinion about my neighbor/fence situation? It seems to me that he might have some insight into how to address this issue without turning it into the Great Fence War of 41st Avenue.)