far too much writing, far too many photos

Paid a visit to my g.p. yesterday for the annual physical exam (me being the responsible boy that I am). And I will say this: there is nothing quite like the sensation of latex-gloved fingers forcing their way up one’s butt to make sure one’s prostate is behaving itself. Thank god my g.p. is a diminutive, petite woman and not some big bruiser with a hand like a bunch of bananas. (Anal probes aside, I’m in dynamite health.)

Yesterday was a fine day to take a jaunt to the doctor’s office. A perfect late-July Vermont day, in fact — countryside awash in green, sun shining brightly, temperature hovering in the user-friendly upper-70s. The single recent instance of a full day’s worth of truly summerlike weather, the last week or two having looked and felt autumnal. Nights cool enough to warrant closing all the windows in the house, days either gray and damp or sporting dramatic skies packed with clouds through which sunlight filtered, producing dramatic shafts of light. Before rain arrived maybe 11 days ago, isolated trees had begun to exhibit distress from the long dry spell, leaves just beginning to turn. Not many, just a cluster of yellow here or there. Enough that between that tiny tweak and the general look of the skies and sunlight, the second half of July felt more like the second half of August, with a feeling of the year tilting heavily toward shorter days, cold nights, jack-o-lanterns, turkey dinners, etc.

Most of this month has been spent in heavy work mode, activity which gradually focused itself on the two large rooms off at the far end of the house, rooms which had functioned as storage areas. I found myself down there more and more, going through boxes and heaps of dreck, getting rid of some stuff, reorganizing the rest. Gradually clearing out the larger of the two spaces, a 10′ x 23′ room with three good-sized windows, two with views of the valley as it extends away to the north, one which looks out on the woods across the road. A door stands between the windows, a big heavy bugger with no windows and no storm door, leaving a dark corner in a space that otherwise gets a lot of light. About four weeks back, I finally installed a storm door, which allowed the inside door to stand open in fair weather, completely changing the feel of the place and provoking all the transformation activity that came after.

You don’t want to know the boring details of the work. Suffice it to say that I awoke this last Sunday morning with the urge finish it all up, by midday it was done — big, airy, comfortable. Finished, for now. A floor needs to be put down on top of the painted plywood that’s currently there, something that will be tackled next summer. (Or maybe the summer after.) Until then a large green rug covers a lot of the floor. That’ll do.

Since then I’ve wavered back and forth between working outside, reading and kind of collapsing. Feeling strangely content. More than content. Appreciating the bejesus out of my life and where it currently is.

But I won’t bludgeon you with that kind of rustically euphoric hooha.

Yesterday morning: got out of bed, dragged on clothes. Opened the kitchen door, stepped outside into a beautiful morning, the grass still wet. After watering some plants, I stood looking around, absorbing the scene, the day. Something made me look to my right, upward. On the power line that runs between the house and the single utility pole over by the barn, about ten feet from me, sat a pair of barn swallows. Quietly preening, looking around at the scene (just like me), completely unmindful of the nearby human.

A bit later, again stepping out the kitchen door, I saw a doe and a fawn out on the gravel road, just past my property line. The mother staring at me through downhanging tree leaves, me gazing back at her. We remained that way for a few seconds, until they turned and disappeared into the trees on the other side of the road.

Life. It’s everywhere.

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I have not been wanting to write these last days. At all. Not here, not fiction, not correspondence. I’ve produced a lot over this last year — I’m apparently taking a break. To all those who have sent mail and have yet to receive a reply, it’s not you. Be patient. Cut me a lot of slack.

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