Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summertime



Outside of baking bread I didn't have a lot to do today. So little that in the late afternoon I had time to lay on my back in the middle of the yard, lolling around with the latest dandyland inhabitant, an elfin hound.



After spending a minimal amount of time puzzling as to what his name might be, I let myself slacken into the natural slowing of time and joined him in his houndly relaxation. He has a bit of the refined melancholia of a foxhound, but so far junebugs and impertinent songbirds are the only things I've seen him give chase to. There was a breeze today, but really it was too hot to chase anything. Better to lay still and listen to the jarflies grate their rasperators in the treetops. Ah summertime!

Which in dandyland is slowing down as it nears its end. We don't go for the Gregorian calendar around here. There used to be a wirey little old widow, sheathed in black, with a pillbox hat, who would invite herself to sunday dinner at our house, regularly. The only thing I remember about Sally Smiley was an expression that she used, often, to show that she was completely unimpressed by preposterous inanities - pssht! That could well be applied to the Gregorian calendar and its ridiculous and arbitrary quartering of the year into seasons that do not match reality on the ground.

One doesn't have to be a pagan, and dance naked round a pole, (not that that mightn't be fun) to realize that midsummer night's eve should be situated in the middle of summer, not at the beginning. This was all cooked up by people who don't go outside.

Anyway ~ I'm sure the calendar makers will eventually recant their folly - or perhaps the seasons will change so radically that we won't recognize them. In the meantime, who cares. To really feel time slowing down you need to let such trivialities slowly roast out of your mind, so that's there's a nice vacant space for the billowed up clouds to slowly graze across, like great celestial sheep, cropping their way across the infinite blue pasture of heaven. Cloudgazing- now that's a religious holiday.

On the old slow round, July becomes so hot and muggy that time is trapped in its density like a wastrel fly in molasses. Then the surge of summer growth slows into stillness, leave droop, & if you watch, you'll see a few early gold ones fall off. Dust, on the cowpaths, is trod powder fine, and puffs up between your toes. August is the real beginning of autumn - the plants are finishing up what's left to do - they take their time building up to the glories of October.

But that's ahead. There's still a few timeless days to savor summer in.

18 comments:

Happier said...
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Happier said...
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Cathy said...

He has a speckled belly! So ripe for snorgling. Give him one for me, please.

Dan Dutton said...

He is such a sweetie. But I can tell now that he had some hard times before he came here. He is scared of people, especially men, and sometimes he involuntarily cringes when I reach to pet him. Slowly the past, whatever it was, is fading tho, and he is settling in to being doted on.

Kim said...

I had been wondering about Rufus, I guess the new puppy is an indirect answer to that query. He's adorable – looks like fun. If I had known you were slacking around yesterday, I would've followed my urge to bum... ahem... barter some more dill. (My Kosher's were excellent and I must make more!) Then I could've met little what's his name!

Kim said...

BTW, how did you two meet?

Dan Dutton said...

At the pound. I had gone over there several times to look for Rufus & this fellow caught my eye. He wanted to go with me ~ so I took Cebah over to check him out & she liked him. She was missing Rufus too. Adopting a dog was kindof an expense that I can't justify right now, (beyond the adoption fee there's a collar, flea meds, shots, etc) but he does fit here on the hill.

There's plenty of dill!

Kim said...

Is there a purpose (other than decorative) to tying corn stalks like this? I see it everywhere, but my family has never done it. I think dad just mows them down with the tractor. Just curious.

William said...

Sounds like a thrill to pick dill from the hill.

Kim said...

LOL, William, I've no doubt it would have made for a better weekend. A dose of dill and Dutton is bound to be therapeutic.

Dan Dutton said...

Sounds like cowboy poetry is popping out all over.

About the fodder shocks - I think that the original purpose was to keep the stalks and leaves for livestock to eat. My dad used to cut the cornstalks after we'd harvested the corn & feed them to his cattle green (which is how they like it best - if they get out into a green cornfield they can really wreck it.) In the old days nothing much was wasted & this is a way to keep the cornstalks somewhat intact so that they could be fed to cows gradually.

Cebah likes the way they look & she insisted I make these as soon as all the corn was picked.

Happier said...
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Apifera Farm said...

Being a native Minnesotan, transplanted to oregon, i find myself and my internal needs really affected by the seasonal calender you talk about. My least favorite month is August. I fel like the dust you mention, and my mouth is full of it fromt he fields, and riding on the road. I love Sept. 1, I am more productive. You mention how the plants and nature burn out in August, and really start using their energy for the glory of what's to come in October. I feel that way about my art. i have many ideas in summer, but they swill around, and in fall I explode. I've learned to let my head and my body just accept the summer July-August slowdown of my innards. I use to feel guilty - 'I'm not working enough" Now I work so much outside that my creativity gets harvested along with the field. One only has so much juice. We really are extensions of it all aren't we, like trees-

Hey, love the hound! My old dog Louie had freckles. Martyn wondered if you'd name him Martyn, then Apifera would always be in your head. How about naming him Katherine, now that's a twist.Of course, I'm sure you are superb at naming - and one does need to get to know a critter before knighting them with a name.

Happier said...
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Dan Dutton said...

OH! I love Martyn! I'm going to try it and see if it works. How sweet!

Of course being an elfhound, I have this feeling he's playing Rumplestiltskin with me now. I try out names and he looks at me with those lugubrious (truly) eyes as tho to say, "You really don't know, do you? sigh." But I really like Martyn ~ AND, I saw a martin once, way up in the Colorado high country - & that was magical.

It's so interesting you fell that "tapped out" feeling as seasonal. My friend Aubrey & I are having a great conversation about that - she's been playing so many gigs that she's feeling "sad and depleted" - it's not ABOUT anything - it's about being drained. I think we have our own seasons too - the times when our energy blossoms & the times when it is dormant. Our world doesn't recognize that much - so I know exactly what you mean, dressing yourself down with the "you shold be working!" thing - art being long & life short and all.

Note to self: cultivate plant-like patience & learn to wait gracefully. (this is very hard for me!)

Happier said...
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buzzardroost said...

Good. A dog to eat table scraps. Every hill needs one (or two). Major & Minor are pink with black spots under their fur. That's a good sign. Spot!

I was also inspried by the 3 faces posting, and started changing clothes. This person, then that, then how about some of this! Masquerade Everyday. You have to bath often here anyway during chigger season. Surprise yourself afterwards with an old dress and another self.

Dan Dutton said...

That's one of the things that pleases Cebah ~ someone to eat the scraps!