Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Life Full

This began as a post about drying orange slices, and limes, about starry nights, sketches, and home. Now, I am gazing at the middle distance, drying tears, and trying to make sense of this full life, of the small and great things that can transpire over decades, and in a single morning.

Our Internet is failing. Geoff is waiting for a technician. I am making a musical playlist to keep me motivated and inspired to continue deep cleaning in the kitchen. Editing pictures goes slowly, with weak Internet, so I am parallel processing... back and forth between music and pictures. Messages cross my phone, with sad news. I fumble around for words... words that console, words that compensate for all that we cannot do during a pandemic, when we care more than we can say. I dive deep into photographs, Christmas music, memories, and nostalgia. I scorch the beans on the stove. Parallel processing is overrated. Countless emotions, and reactions rise, press, inflate, drift around, and I close my eyes, breath. Musn't conflate, musn't dive too deep. And something else? What was it the article said, about How To Stay Calm When You Know You Will Be Stressed? No. Not that one. It was something else I read, or watched, or heard. Something about feeling your feelings, and not surpressing them. I have so many photographs, and so many bits of information... promixmate knowledge of many things. Too many bits of information, not enough access. My brain is a slow Internet.

I dried oranges, and they made the house smell bright, fresh. I've wanted to do this for a long time. Probably since I first picked up a Better Homes and Gardens, or Martha Stewart Living. My life is full, and yet I still find lessons I need to relearn, to take to heart,like trying... go places, touch things, listen, make, test, sample, use things up, speak up, take a stand, be wrong or bad, or silly, but try, start, play. Carol sent me pictures, for more inspiration, of dried grapefruit slices, which are large, and pale, luminous pink, and of dried citrus wreaths, and garlands. Adriana shared a link for ornaments. I am so delighted to have friends playing with me, sharing the fun, even at a distance.

Sunday was a movie night. We watched The Little Prince, which is on Netflix. It's a beautiful movie, by the way, artistically, narratively. It's one I had forgotten, and had only a sense that it was something good. It was the night of the New Moon, and there were no clouds, and it wasn't too cold, but cold enough. After everyone left, there were too many good embers to douse, so I made another plan. I scrubbed potatoes, and wrapped them in aluminum foil. William joined me back outside. We sat on the ground, beside the fire ring, listening to the wet potatoes sizzle. And we looked up. It was such a wondrous star gazing night, that even my phone was able to capture a hint of the magic. We saw meteors, bright blue shooting stars. We watched Orion rise, and then Sirius. Twinkling, Sirius, the brightest star, in the constellation Canis Major. It was flickering its dazzling rainbow. The Pleiades were in great form, I point them out in the photo above. Mars has been bright and visible for months. The Andromeda Galaxy was just overhead, but not so visible. Still, just to say it, Andromeda Galaxy, is pretty heckin' cool. I want to find a lounge chair, or drag out a reclining chair, then watch the sky all night.

Sometimes,often, I start to think of ideas, of people, of causes, and issues, of events, and I want to mention all of it, all of them. Life is full, for each of us. I should feed the chickens, salvage what I can of the beans. I am also thinking of you, dear ones, of your full lives, and the things that make you close your eyes and breath... wordlessly, I am sending consolation, and my best thoughts for some comfort, for an easing of burdens.


gretchenjoanna said...

Thank you, Natalie. Just bringing your readers to sit there by the fire with the potatoes sizzling... that is hospitable and evocative and I can almost smell them. And see the stars!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you. I was hoping someone would feel transported, like we were.
And I have a question... why or how do potatoes roasted in embers cook so fast, and taste so amazing? For me, baked potatoes, in the oven, are hit or miss, but never great. But the ones we toss on the bonfire come out fluffy, soft, flavorful. I know it's partly romance, and starlight... and something else.

Janece said...

Deep, grateful sigh. For you and for your sharing.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Janece, I don't even know where to begin!
We have our Moments... and it makes everything shine brighter.
I am so thankful for our friendships.