Monday, October 11, 2010

There are times when life skates upon ice that is thick and textured and three feet thick like a deep-winter Pocono lake.  You can look down into it and chart its depth and seriousness in the bubbles and fractures and scars of its own self-creation.  Lately I'm a dabbler-duck in life that is more like frozen apple sauce, which is delicious and truly one of my favorite things, but the thready little ice crystals are not exactly serious or skateable.  No, life's been a bit crunchy and fragmentary and not lending itself to long or consistent campaigns at any one thing.

At work it's been four projects about public communications (privatization, deficit spending, nitrogen pollution, farm policy) all handed around and assembled by committee.  But too many deadlines all falling together and all the back-burner matters going undone and hardening on my computer desktop like so much neglected oatmeal.  Porter is busy at school and with his burden of homework and other educational rigamarole; Nico has a lighter load, but the teachers are tempted to push him for his brightness.  Monica has been sucked deeper into the Pine Point school, her responsibilities coagulating into two half-time jobs -- one as teacher the other as driver.  At least for her second shift she can seat-belt them all in and cruise I-95 in a sound-cloud of David Byrne or Julieta Venegas.

Monica's mother Esperanza is visiting along with her aunt, Hilma.  Then quickly, the three of them headed off to Vermont on to see the fall colors - leaving me in single-parentage, neck deep in writing up our dairy ethnography research while also running some experiments on (the uphill battle of) how to educate the public on the virtues deficit spending.  Then they were back and Porter was off to the White mountains on a class camping trip all week.  And so it continues.

Meanwhile, as part of the sputtering re-boot of my personal philosophy into some hybridized blogostani bourgeoise-pagan-doomerism, I had signed up for a "food preservation" course with Sharon Astyk, but have pretty much been failing at it.  Heading off to Minnesota in the middle didn't help.  I did manage to jar 5 pints of applesauce and I've set sauerkraut into motion. (Kimchi will be next, but I thought I'd start simple.)  I'm eyeing the quince for jelly.  Tiling the bathroom, painting the bulkhead, washing the windows, framing out a root cellar, stacking the two cords of firewood in the driveway, and so on have been gently and futiley fluttering mothlike against the window of my inattention.

Mom and Dad made a sudden road trip and campered in the driveway for a couple of days.  We planted some native plants Dad'd brought for me, and went hiking at Ninigret Pond, talked about the sorry state of politics, and Mom helped me hang pictures around the house that had been languishing in corners and atop the armoire since the summer wall-painting project.  We were all glad to have them for their short visit, though the date of my eventually getting back upon thick ice was knocked further down the paths.

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