Saturday, May 12, 2007

Apple blossom

I was walking over to my garden this morning to get some weeding in before I headed off to the gym for my daily dose of torture. I noticed that the rain we’ve had over the past couple of days has knocked a lot of the blossom off the apple trees in the park, and it was making me a little wistful about how fleeting this season is. The breeze picked up and I was engulfed in the sweet scent of apple blossom.

It was like a time machine and suddenly, I was in my fathers ’53 Ford and it was 1962. We were driving back from the family farm. All of the windows were down in the car and as we started to drive past Ellis’ Orchard there was the smell of apple blossom.

My dad stopped the car and took in a deep breath. “Will you smell that!” and imitating my dad, my older brother and I took a deep breath of what seemed to be pure spring. The orchard in full bloom seemed to fill the world with its perfume. The trees on the rolling hills of the orchard covered in a pinky white snow, the early spring mountains in the background still a winter purple brown with a haze of green and the sky that odd china blue of late afternoon, early evening. For a moment the world was magic. It was like being transported for one perfect moment into an illustration by Arthur Rackham or Maxfield Parrish.

I don’t remember why we had gone to the farm that day. No doubt my father was helping my Uncle Eugene. Doing what I don’t know. It was spring so it wasn’t bailing. Late summer had it’s own scent of fresh mown hay. The air would have had a metallic edge, not the damp softness of spring. The sky would have been a different blue, hot and coppery during the day, purple in the evening. I don’t suppose it really matters. It was just a moment of no great import.

Maybe it remains in my mind simply because it was a happy moment. They were to become fewer and further between as the years progressed. Certainly any memories that involved my dad and being happy were doomed to disappear.

But there is was, this perfect moment, like an insect preserved in amber, a sweet moment with no greater significance than the fact that it existed and in some way still exists, floating loose from time, able to be made present at any time with the magic scent of apple blow.

Thanks C.

The first year I gardened in the Fenway, my friend C. gave me this lilac. C. has no personal interest in gardening. He claims to have a black thumb and kill all plants with the exception of the orchids he has in his condo. He does however seem to enjoy seeing what I get up to and willingly trots me around to garden centers to buy plant, peat moss, fertilizer and being a true friend even lets me haul bags of cow manure in his car.

The lilac was all of 12 inches high and most closely resembled a twig when I planted it 5 years ago. Lilac takes a few years to mature to bloom, so there were a few years where is was a foliage shrub. Last year it bloomed for the first time and this year it is really lovely. It is a syringa arnoldia from the arboretum and unlike the Persian lilacs one sees most often is a looser form and somehow more airy looking. At this very moment it is easing the pain of weeding by wafting a heady perfume through the garden. A gift that keeps on giving.


I went to Bigezbear a few days ago and wound up taking the Tarot survey. Since then I have noticed it popping up everywhere. I thought I'd do a little scientific sleuthing to see how this thing has spread around.

It seems Glenn got it from Daniel. I posted it and then Belle took the survey. Then it moved on to Farmboy Tony at Perge Modo. Where will it turn up next?

So, as far as I can tell, it started with Daniel in the Desert, where he found the survey I don't know. I imagine it will die down soon enough. The novelty factor will wear off and the next meme will come along. I would be interested however to see what cards Alexander and Mike come up with.

Oh, for the record Lynette, I'll trade your Devil for my Hanged Man.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Hudson River School

I was out of the house a little later than usual and the clouds were looking a great deal as though they had been created by a member of the Hudson River School. Lots of clouds rolling in after several days of sunshine here in New England. I am actually looking forward to some rain out of pure laziness. It will save me a half an hour with the hose out in my garden after work.

Imaginary fat

I was working with the trainer this morning.

Trainer: You've lost some weight.

Me: No, I'm still at 160.

Trainer: No,you're probably going to maintain that weight. You've lost some fat.

Me: Oh!

Either living on protein shakes, oatmeal and green vegetables for a couple of weeks helped more than I thought, or I am so far around the twist about my weight that I am beyond help.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Hanged Man

I saw this "What Tarot Card Are You" on Bigezbear. I took the survey. I don't think so. To keep the record straight, they claim Glenn is "The Sun". Who knew?

You are the Hanged Man

Self-sacrifice, Sacrifice, Devotion, Bound.

With the Hanged man there is often a sense of fatalism, waiting for something to happen. Or a fear of
loss from a situation, rather than gain.

The Hanged Man is perhaps the most fascinating card in the deck. It reflects the story of Odin who offered himself as a sacrifice in order to gain knowledge. Hanging from the world tree, wounded by a spear, given no bread or mead, he hung for nine days. On the last day, he saw on the ground runes that had fallen from the tree, understood their meaning, and, coming down, scooped them up for his own. All knowledge is to be found in these runes.

The Hanged Man, in similar fashion, is a card about suspension, not life or death. It signifies selflessness, sacrifice and prophecy. You make yourself vulnerable and in doing so, gain illumination. You see the world differently, with almost mystical insights.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Crazy management

So far this week has been another study in crazy. I have to admit, I am getting a little tired of damage control. A good example is coming into work this morning to discover that departmental web access was down. I could access the system from my laptop over wireless, but as far as using my desktop computer went I was SOL. I don't do IT administration. That did not stop anyone from calling me up and either bitterly complaining, or demanding that I do something to rectify the situation immediately. While a lot of this is just the nature of my job, it does get wearing.

In my personal life, I have been on about an equal slide. I have been trying to take off a few pounds with no luck, which has been crazy making. For some reason, which I am willing to chalk up to work stress, I haven't been sleeping well which has been making me cranky. Which has been making me anti-social. Life just feels like it is slipping out of control. Not major nervous breakdown material. Just poorly managed.

So, I am trying to get as much of my crazy under control as I can. I received sound advice on the diet front from my friend the office babe. Fuck it. So I am going to live with the extra weight and have faith that I will get things back under control in the fullness of time. I am also going to have an initial appointment with a shrink tomorrow, and see what I can do about managing the rest of the crazy in my life. I am not sure how much immediate good that will do, but at least I feel as though I am trying to take some positive action in my life.

I think when I was younger I believed that you hit some magical number and then woke up, able to cope with any situation. Now that I am on the down hill side of middle age and only a couple of years away from once again switching demographics, I feel as though, while I am not dealing with a lot of the emotional turmoil that comes with youth, that I am having to deal with a whole new set of complex challenges and there's lots more on the road ahead. So managing the crazy it is. Maybe I should do what the rest of the country does and just go shopping.

Monday, May 07, 2007

More flowers

Here's some more pictures of flowers. I would try and write something, but it's been another brain frying day at work. Oh and R.J. and Lynette, lupines are weeds. Every last one in my garden got crapped there by passing birds. I have a hard time imagining having to struggle to grow the things.