Yearning :: {green pesto}

A typical summer evening in 1984.
When you've lived in more than one place, you always miss the other place when you're not there.  And when you're there, you miss the first place.  I can't think of a time where I've felt such a distinct emptiness, a hole that I know can be filled by being in that first place. That picture up there is where I spent my first six years, playing amongst the lines of drying laundry in the sheep pasture, cooling off in cow fountains, eating purple clover in the meadow, going with my brother to collect the evening milk in our pale green bucket with the red wooden handle, our mother skimming the cream off the top.  The cream tasted like the wildflowers I would gather by the armful everyday. 

One summer evening, when the hills made undulating shadows fall across the meadow, I followed our cat into the apple orchard.  My back toward the house and my face toward the darkening forest, I imagined myself an orphan, miles from home, following this cat as my guide.  I trudged up the hill behind him, the breeze quickening, and a tingle of danger swirling around my insides. The cat leapt up a tree and I huddled at its base, ready to sleep there. I started wondering how cold it would get in the night, if the cat would leave without me, if....and just when my imagination started to get the best of me, I turned around to the winking lights of the farmhouse, and saw the outline of my brother against the lights, swinging the milk bucket in his hands.  "Phe," he shouted, breaking my reverie, "Mama says it's time for dinner."

I know the yearning has gotten especially poignant because I want to share this with my daughter.  I want her to see cows and sheep and wide open spaces everyday.  I want her swimming pool to be a fountain in a pasture, and I want to feed her cream that tastes like flowers.


Page Two

I've always had a problem starting, let alone filling, a beautiful sketchbook, so I bought an ugly one and had a lot more success with it.  I even managed to not tear out a single page.  Since the book was homely and really not that special, I started writing inane things down, things I had to do, to not forget.  Bad ideas, and some good ones, too.  The Homely Book went everywhere with me.  It took me a year to fill it, and now when I page through it, between the garlic sketch and the pretty coffee stain, lovely remembrances of everyday life crop up.  But the book itself was ugly.  I took issue with this.

The next sketchbook I bought was beautiful.  I spent about 45 minutes choosing it, waffling between the utilitarian ones with scratchy paper that I knew I could fill and the exquisite one that I wanted to fill.  I brought the New Book home and felt its quiet pages.  I fiddled with the ribbon that tied it shut and wondered if I had made a mistake.

What I wanted to see when I opened up the New Book was this:

Three Studies of a Dancer by Edgar Degas

so I left that first page blank.  A blank page doesn't aspire to be a Degas sketch, afterall.  Before I knew it, I was pages deep in food label musings, lists of imaginary places, sketches of my dream chair, you name it.

Sometimes a grocery list even sneaks in, because, you know, you should never work on an empty stomach.

The First Post

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...