Scattered Thoughts

Welcome to the latest installment of ME TURNING INTO MY MOTHER, in which I slept in this morning…until 7 am.

At which point, I rose and went outside to let the Cheeps out. I topped up their feed and gathered an armful of greenery and bugs to keep them busy — tiny dinosaurs that they are, they enjoy ripping flora and fauna to shreds before devouring both with gusto. And who am I to deny them what they love most?

Then I pushed the reel mower around the front of the house, a task that (as I’m sure I’ve mentioned) I despise — not because it’s work, but because it feels cruel and arbitrary.

It takes, I think, a distinct lack of imagination (and/or a surfeit of ignorance) to sweep one’s gaze over hundreds of distinct species of plant and lump them all under the catch-all heading of “grass” — or worse, “lawn.”*

I suspect it’s the same phenomenon that causes people to look at the ground, a rich and fertile underworld of soil and bacteria, and conclude simply: “dirt.”

Privately, I also suspect it’s why humans are very talented at things like genocide and much less skilled at, say, choosing wise and just leaders. We’re just not very good at seeing possibilities. Our reductionist turn of mind combined with a collective tendency to neglect (or abuse) anything that doesn’t confer upon us any direct benefit is what will probably lead to our extinction.

Since then, I’ve made (and drank) coffee, washed dishes, folded laundry, swept floors, walked the dog, done some gardening, read, played with the cats, and other bits and bobs of household maintenance that usually sort of annoy me but today feel like a blessed relief, now that I’ve got my life back.

This past week has been a slog, what with all my usual obligations (with their usual deadlines), plus the Workshop of Doom (and its attendant details), plus extra helpings of “please edit this contributor’s tangled web of dreck masquerading as a feature article by COB today,” plus a spate of meetings — each of which made me want to slam my head against the table until I concussed myself.

If Satan is real, and Hell a place, then all arrivals must surely receive a bullet-pointed agenda before they’re strapped to swivel chairs and forced to view a truly infernal powerpoint presentation.

Added to which, My Fella’s out of town at a conference — in Grand Rapids, of which he has observed, “it’s a thrill a minute here in River City”  — and his absence has plunged the Boxhound into an abyss of (literally) howling despair. She likes me fine, mostly because I’m the one who attends Her Highness while she perambulates and poops; however, she’s besotted with My Fella, whom she regards as the finest specimen of male ever to grace the planet.

Can’t say as I disagree, but still, you won’t find me staring out the window and sighing. She languishes, and I set to work scrubbing the stovetop.


*But it’s standard practice, and we really can’t afford any fines from the city, so once a week I make the rounds, mumbling “Sorry, fescue. Sorry, switchgrass. Sorry, zoysia. Sorry, ryegrass…” and undoubtedly passersby think I’m insane, because by the time I get to the stripe of oxalis at the property line, I’m raging with sorrow.
I’ve always thought of myself as being pretty fierce, and probably when it comes to humans I am — but clearly it takes a harder heart than I possess to shear a patch of buttercups or yarrow…which is why I sort of cheat and leave clumps standing, at least until they go to seed.

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