I really should be reading that Frances Hodgson Burnett biography right now, since I am writing a small piece about Knoxville’s literary past that is due August 1st, but the call of my itching fingers and how beautifully this candle is burning beside me is keeping me standing, and writing. My computer is set up on one of our kitchen counters, right in front of a large pass through window that overlooks the living room. I keep it here so that I can turn on Itunes, or check my email quickly without sitting down, or write a little while dinner simmers on the stove. I sit almost all day long at work, and I can feel my body sort of slowing down and crunching up. I try to get up and walk around often, but this week I’ve been at the reception desk a lot, and it isn’t always possible. I’ve always hated an incessantly ringing phone. I was a receptionist for years and years, and ringing phones bother me so much that I never answer my home phone or cell. Let them leave a message. Their demands can wait. My chirpy voice is out of the office.
At lunch, I often walk five blocks to this little co-op to grab a few groceries for home and something for lunch. After being stationary for most of the day, it’s wonderful to walk. The heat here used to bother me, before we moved to Alaska. Now, I welcome it. I take off my sweater and give myself an hour away from air-conditioning (my office, like all offices down here, are icebergs in the summer, and bubbling cauldrons in the winter).
A co-worker and I were walking to the co-op a few weeks ago, and we noticed a large patch of wild orchids growing on a chain length fence. This co-worker is a poet by soul and by education (hello, Jannette, if you’re reading), and it’s nice to have someone else with a creative spirit to spend part of the day with at work.
I don’t often divulge much about my personal life here. I mean, of course I share stories of my past and some bleeding of thoughts of but details and specifics of the every day haven’t really been my thing. I guess I’ve felt guarded. I don’t try to compare myself to other writers or bloggers, but so often you read too much about the personal business of strangers anymore. We know if their marriage isn’t going well, we know about their children’s bowel movements, we know that they are on their period.
About two weeks ago I permanently deleted my facebook account. It feels really wonderful (I’ve been talking about it way too much), and I’ve seriously gotten so much done. I maybe spent 20-30 minutes total on weekdays on it, and maybe an hour a day on the weekends (split up into increments)…and am kind of waking up and enjoying the things that I used to do with that spare superfluous time (is there superfluous time? not really). On Monday Xander and I pulled the sad looking pansies that have lived a long time in the brick ledge/planter by the front door. It wraps around the small porch, and sits almost waist high. The area doesn’t get much sun, so the peonies were looking ragged. They did pretty well during the winter months, when the sun hit them just so, but it was their time to turn to compost. So Xander and I pulled them up by their roots, and I poured some pea gravel in the bed. It looks a bit fifties or sixties, like something out of the outdoor set of an old Bewitched or Dick Van Dyke show, but it’s fitting because that’s the age of the house (it was built in 1953). I think I’ll put some small little bowls of succulents in the rocks; if you ignore them they actually love you more for it. Aloof little things.
I had a memory just now, of hiding behind coats hung on pegs in Kindergarten. It was February, and my first day at a new school. I didn’t want to come out from the behind the coats, and Mrs. Frye kept urging me to join the class. The classroom was big and full of fun things, books and dress-up and a wooden play kitchen. But I was just so terribly shy, and nervous of meeting new people. We had just moved from Georgia to Tennessee, and in my old Kindergarten I sat beside my next-door neighbor Stephen. We had to separated often, since we shared a secret language. In that class, I was the gregarious belle of the ball, always volunteering to write on the chalkboard or help the teacher pass out papers. In my new class, the big class, the one with the scary teacher wearing black orthopedic shoes and tan pantyhose (I could see them pacing in front of me as I hid behind the coats), I was a basket case. I still feel like that sometimes, especially if I feel I don’t belong somewhere. My stomach will turn somersaults and my heart will beat sideways.
Bed now. See? No facebook means longer, more personal posts from me. Whether you like it or not.