No quick takes today. Kelly is having a much deserved Memorial Weekend off. So how bout Five Fings* For Friday. It’s been a busy week, and an even busier one to come.
A First Thing: The Weather
Of course I didn’t get Summer clothes out in a timely manner, as in, before the temperature rose above sixty degrees. I know The People of The South are sad because it’s already in the 90s and it’s only the end of May. And I’m trying to feel for them, to empathize and commiserate. But up here I have my own trauma, which is that if the sun comes out and there’s a blue sky, and then a minuscule speck of sweat begins to form on the forehead of a Northern Child, that child freaks out and feels that death is literally on its way. He, or indeed she, lies down on the steps of the porch and begins to moan and sob.
“It’s too hot,” says the child, the voice rising up into the clear blue sky like the irritable whistling of a mosquito.
“It’s only 70 degrees,” I say, “if you ride your bike down the street the wind will cool you off.”
“I’m too tired and hot,” moans the child, “I need shorts.”
“You don’t need shorts,” I say, “it could snow tomorrow and then you’d be sad.”
The child collapses back in longing at the thought of snow, moaning softly, rocking back and forth in grief at the long Summer days stretched out before her, days where she will be “too hot” for many unbearable hours.
And I? I sit on the step and wonder how it is that God has shown such favor towards me, driving away the gray for even one single hour.
A Second Thing: Rearranging The Things
I need a work space that doesn’t require my constantly putting my clothes away and making my bed in order to think a whole thought. Right now, my desk is wedged in between the closet and the window…in my bedroom. A glorious tree makes me feel as though I’m living in a cloud forest. When I turn my back on the rest of the room and stare at the tree, it’s ok. But I have to get all the way through the room to sit down. Which means I am always folding and putting away laundry, picking up a ridiculous assortment of items lovingly cast upon my dresser that have nothing to do with me, trying to expel the dogs so that I can make the bed (do they really need to sleep All Day? In the bed? What are they doing that’s making them so exhausted?). By the time I’ve done all that my hour is over and I might as well go back to cleaning some other portion of the house. In this way I never write anything, even though I technically have some free hours in the afternoon.
A Third Thing: The Garden
But first I’ll have to go spend some hours making sure all my newly planted flowers aren’t dead. This is officially the time when people up here may shove plants into the ground without abject, cringing fear. It should not snow any more from here on, till September at least.
Of course, I didn’t wait for this moment to stuff my garden full, and neither did any of my neighbors. It’s one of those laws that we mouth with our lips, but don’t believe has true power over our lives. ‘It’ll be ok just this once,’ we say, digging furiously. Because, for real, the growing season is only a minute and a half long.
I garden, then, in frenzied desperation, never sitting down to look at any of it, but praying over each seedling, each drooping transplant, reminding God that if the garden doesn’t grow, it will be a bad reflection on him.
A Fourth Thing: The End
…of the school year but not really. Finals are this coming week. And then we can do all the stuff we forgot all year. Oh wait. I said all this last week. Still, I’ll be relieved when that last exam is in. ‘Relieved’ is only a pale shadow of how I’ll really feel.
A Fifth Thing: The Wordiness
I keep reading blog condemnations of adverbs and all other manner of writerly wordiness. And boy, being the rebellious type, these screeds (which I won’t link because Why Would I) make me want to Use Moar, and even All The Adverbs. And adjectives. All of them. Every single one.
I mean, I get it. But also, words are deliciously and wondrously and gloriously satisfying (see what I did there) and as long as the clickbaited listicle is a thing, I don’t see why I should give up all my run on sentences. When sanity comes to the internet, I’ll devote myself to spare, plain, stark, perfect writing (see what I did there).
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I will arise and go upon my way, which will include cutting all the words out of all the essays of my children, poor things.
*How you say ‘thing’ when you can’t say ‘th.’