In the past few days I've had a couple of emails from old farflung friends who are getting impatient to read about what I'm up to in the garden(s). Here's a post I just made - fresh from the field.
In the past few days I've had a couple of emails from old farflung friends who are getting impatient to read about what I'm up to in the garden(s). Here's a post I just made - fresh from the field.
It's amazing how things change so rapidly this time of year. Two days ago it was raining hard for the second day in a row. Jim and I went out and stood on the stream bridge to watch the rushing water. It was loud! Yesterday morning I looked out an upstairs window and thought: what's different out there today? After a slow moment of looking I realized everything was covered with snow and ice. Again. Luckily most of it melted by day's end.
This morning I woke to brilliant sunshine. By new england standards it turned out to be a warm and quite obviously spring day. That means patches of the ground were unfrozen and walking around made it clear we've officially entered mud season. Last week I was wondering why I hadn't seen any skunk cabbage yet. This morning I found a few as I was walking along the stream in an area that will be totally impassable in another month and a half.
Also noted: enormous patches of celandine throughout the property. This is more welcome than the even more enormous patches of pachysandra. I'm considering employing Tony and a few of his friends to make a bigger dent in pulling it up and getting rid of it. I just don't know yet how to do the latter. I don't want to kill it all with some kind of herbicide (obviously) but I'm also aware that anyplace it gets dumped it's likely to take root. Also noted a great deal of periwinkle on the closest stream bank. It looks really lovely when it blooms with all the distinctive blue trumpets spilling down the bank straight to the water but it's another invasive species.
There is a hollowed-out log next to the bridge where I place periodic strewing herbs and little talismans of appreciation. Today was definitely an outside day with a lot of private wandering and dreaming and also the season's first one-on-one teaching hours.
Most of the green in the landscape comes from moss colonies. It's fairly easy to walk pretty much anywhere in the woods although the patches of sticker bushes and wild roses (two more invasive species...) make for slow progress in certain areas.
Above is another example of something that's probably exciting only by new england standards. And I was indeed plenty excited to see the field gardens rather than snow. I realize it's far too early to start removing layers of mulch. At this point I'm not even willing to lift the mulch temporarily in order to see what's underneath. A few of the hardier plants have begun to push the straw aside. So I know the thyme patch Jim and I planted very late in the fall appears to have taken good hold. We had four thyme plants that were outgrowing their containers closer to the house - one lemon and three common thyme. We got them in the ground on the last warm and sunny day when the ground was still relatively easy to work. It was such a satisfying experience, especially standing back to see them all re-situated and gleaming with droplets of water, that I just couldn't bring myself to break the spell long enough to run inside for my camera.
This is the second year in a row that I didn't start seedlings in the basement. I tried hard to push myself into doing it because one year seems like a glitch but two starts feeling uncomfortably close to being the way of my future. In the end I got myself focused on the fact that I want to approach gardening in a way that's more enjoyable than overwhelming. In my forty two years of gardening I have learned and accomplished all sorts of outrageous proof of chronic over-ambition. I think it's time to sing a new song, as it were. Scaling back my plans and expectations saves money as well as physical energy.
A few weeks back I purchased a very modest group of cold weather food crops as well as a trio of bean seeds that won't get planted 'til much later. I got them now because it just seemed easier than trying to remember. I'm working towards a goal of having everything I plant grown from seeds that were collected in the garden. I'm hopeful this will be the case by year after next. For now I have what I've collected so far - various greens, raab, peas, and a large assortment of herbs and flowers.
I think I may order garlic and shallot sets tomorrow. Tonight I placed a flower order from good old Select Seeds. I have been a very loyal customer as long as they've existed. And this is the first year I didn't go overboard. I did indulge in two things that probably would be more successful if I'd started them indoors last month but what's gardening without a couple rolls of the dice. For the first time in my life I ordered just one type of poppy. But I do have a few other varieties' seeds that are leftovers from last year. I'm sure they're still viable enough to provide plenty of visual enjoyment.
All are welcome readers. Please be patient, rather than feeling left out or bewildered, by this post. I understand that my words may seem irrelevant or puzzling or both. But that's not what I'm going for at all. It's simply the beginning of a new season for this blog as well as the whirled at large ...
It occured to me partway through last week that I started blogging again in order to reach the exact same people who inspired me to blog in the first place, back in the late summer of 2005. This isn't why I thought I started blogging again. On the other hand, I didn't start blogging again in the time frame I'd assumed I'd be doing as much and thus I knew there was more at play than my pre-concieved ideas and [presumed] motivational volition. I was open for something to move to and through me that wasn't already focused in my conscious mind. And then, I assumed, once I understood more about what was coming down the pike for me, and you, and the planet we love, I would also understand why it suddenly felt meaningful and, in some tiny portion of literal definition, necessary to blog.
This isn't a post about an a-ha moment in which everything crystallized and I rushed to the keyboard in order to share the experience. I haven't had a single moment but I've experienced a steady stream of illuminated quicksilver instances that, when stitched together during moments of contemplation, began to yield a potent sense of personal clarity.
Do you remember the late summer of 2005? It was the year I kept a flower essence garden on the top of a hill - at the edge of an orchard and several acres worth of CSA food production beds. It was a time when everything that came before seemed to be eclipsing whatever it used to mean. Somebody very important to me was actively dying. I grieved intensely as I wandered through the rows of fruit trees and vegetable plantings.
Other people were grieving, too. And still others were shifting their places of life, love, and meaningful occupation. People were going places that didn't make sense at the time. And yet nearly all of those people were too tightly focused on trusting themselves to be confused. And that was good. Confusion, on a gravely notable scale, was about to descend on everyone who was paying attention.
I'm writing this post very slowly and with a great deal of time given to searching through years worth of photographic files. But I haven't been able to find the peace rose image I wanted to include. It was a single rain drenched rose that graced the front screen of the Sparkling Lotus Ink website for a couple of years. The website's gone now and I might or might not write about why. That particular rose image has always been very significant to me because the rain drops sparkling on the ruffled petals came from the stormy aftermath of hurricane Katrina. In other words: On a sunny day after a night of rain I was standing comfortably barefoot in my garden taking flower photographs just around the time the levees broke in New Orleans and we were all flooded by change one way or another.
You know who I mean by we, right? Even if you aren't one of the specific people I'm addressing but you happen to be reading along with the sense my words mean something important to you - even if you can't for the life of you grasp exactly what that meaning is - I'm going to count it as an act of faith on both our parts that you know we changed; we were at long last finally awakened for better or worse.
Since then a lot of us have slid back into something resembling a comfort zone. Some of us have become adept at Making Statements with our lives - statements that live and gain power here on the internet even as they seem to impart the very opposite of power to the inner landscape of the statement makers. Some of us are perfectly content (or at least pretending to be ...) pleading ignorance or uninvolvement. I want to eventually blog about at least some of that. And any number of other things.
Let me not be misunderstood. Clearly there have been any number of other crisis moments imbued by trans-personal awakenings powerful enough to be irrefutable to all those who experience them. And all the related stories are well worth telling. In this time and space I'll be telling my story. I first started blogging as a different version of storytelling - a story of comfort and re-focus and hope for a particular group of people I love and respect so much who were not so slowly, but ever so surely, losing themselves to all that they encountered (primarily in Louisiana and Mississippi) that seemed so big and dark and infixable. On my end, sitting at my desk reading emails with an abundance of life unfolding in the adjacent flower gardens or curled comfortably on my bed straining to hear a voice that was faint from shock, exhaustion, and Knowing Too Much, I was deeply angered by the stories they told me. And so I summoned gentleness in word-form for all of us. Some people told me it helped them in small but significant ways. Some people I didn't know, who couldn't have realized exactly why I was blogging in the way that I was, wrote to me to express things I'd posted that moved them in a profound way. They couldn't comment because I didn't initially activate that function. I'm not yet sure if I'm going to keep comments going in the here and now because I've honestly never needed them for any sort of reason. I only started allowing comments a year or more later, when I decided to diversify my purpose for communicating with people I didn't know beyond series of words and pictures on a screen here online. Somewhat cautiously I joined a quilt-related group that demanded comments be allowed. And I do use that word demand advisedly.
Nowadays it seems to be fashionable to disable comments at least part of the time. Some people say it helps them to keep from focusing on not receiving enough comments. Sometimes it's very obviously a case of the blogger not wanting to deal with whatever a reader might have to say about what's been posted. Sometimes ... who knows. Sometimes I forget entirely what blogging means to me personally and, instead of remembering, I go around and around and around trying to determine where I fit or how I can make blogging work for me.
but it isn't work. It's love.
Wave Maker - a Chinook comb carved from red alder by Greg Robinson
Today I learned that my inordinately talented friend Greg has a Facebook page. It's viewable to everyone, even if you aren't part of FB, and well worth a lingering visit or three. Greg has posted many wonderful photos of his finished work as well as in-progress shots and images of some of his favorite traditional objects.
Last fall I decided it was time to start dressing up the half-circle of grassy undergrowth that fronts the road between the two entrances to our driveway. Siberian squills seemed like a perfect choice because they naturalize so effortlessly. They also bloom before the trees are in full leaf. I really wanted a sumptious carpet that left no doubt about Spring's arrival so I ordered four hundred bulbs. Once they arrived and I took stock of both the bulbs and the place I intended to plant them it was what was I thinking time. Rototilling around various tree roots and a very large rock yielded space to plant about 325 bulbs. Any number of things in the course of daily life interfered with my plan to plant the rest, in individually dug pockets, down by the main road.
Fortunately another one of my unachieved intentions involved repotting several houseplants. At that point I'd only gotten as far as securing some clay pots and saucers. I wound up using them to plant the squill bulbs even though they weren't on any of my gardening books' ideal for forcing lists. Nonetheless I am the kind of gardener who generally operates under the notion that There's No Harm In Trying. The bulbs got situated in the pots right before our first bout of arctic chill.
As luck would have it the former owners of this house left behind an old refrigerator. It doesn't take up too much room in the garage so I lobbied to keep it on hand. At the time I envisioned using the refrigerator to prepare and store home-made gelatin plates for paper and fabric printing. It was only later that I realized this would be a perfect spot for chilling potted bulbs. So: Game On.
Once I'd ordered the squills, and was waiting for them to arrive, I went through my favorite bulb supplier's catalog with a very greedy and totally unrealistic eye towards puchasing some of this and this and this. And who knows. I'm sure it's likely I'll eventually get around to growing at least some of the things that caught my eye. It's equally likely that I'll get around to making a few gelatin plates. Meanwhile I've had the perfect cold nursery for eight pots worth of squills. Every week or so I've checked to see if they needed water. By and large they stayed perfectly moist. Two weeks ago I started bringing the pots into the house. Right now most of them are just on the brink of peak bloom.
The squills currently command all available space in a sunny corner of our living room. Two of the nicest clay pots will be going to my friend Ann's house as part of her birthday gift. The rest will hang around making me happy every time I enter the room. Other people are also gladdened by the sight so I'm calling this one of my most successful inadvertent projects.
Did you know: Clear bright blue is an important component of a gardener's design palette. Years ago I learned, via a very interesting book called Color Echoes, that this particular type of blue makes the strongest and longest impact on our mind's eye. Perhaps it's worth mentioning that, if you follow that link, you'll find several copies of the book on offer for a mere penny. Of course you have to factor in shipping and handling as well; look for the volume in your local library system to see if you'd like to keep it on hand for your own planning and dreaming.
P.S. Just to conjour a brief memory of warmer weather - here's my favorite blue darling: Italian Alkanet. The plant's not very fussy but the stems get long so a bit of staking is advised. She flowers and self-seeds abundantly without becoming overwhelming. The thick fuzzy leaves add variety and interest to one's overall growing space. Goldfinches love the seeds. And I can't think of anything more pleasant on a sunny June morning that quietly watching brilliant flashes of yellow feathers moving among the blue petals. Finches sing so joyously when they've found a desired food source. Yes. Such moments of shared co-creative pleasure are well worth waiting for. Especially with so many happy blue booms brightening up the chillier and largely gray/white moment at hand.
In honor of today's much maligned (but my own personal favorite) holiday, I thought this poem would be a good choice. Especially since it focuses on something else which seems to rouse any number of knee-jerking viciously opinionated Beasts Within - the color pink. The former aversion has always struck me as rather sad. The latter is, frankly, so hilarious to me that I never bother to analyze why on either end of the spectrum. In any event this poem is from the book Longing Distance by the dazzlingly talented and much-missed Sarah Hannah.
The Colors Are Off This Season
I don't want any more of this mumble—
Orange fireside hues,
Fading sun, autumnal tumble,
I want Pink, unthinking, true.
Foam pink, cream and coddle,
Miniskirt, Lolita, pompom, tutu,
Milkshake. Pink without the mottle
Or the dying fall. Pink adored, a thrall
So pale it's practically white.
A tinted room beneath a gable—
Ice pink, powder, feather-light—
Untried corner of the treble.
I want the lift, not the lower.
Bloodless pink stalled at girl,
No weight, no care, no hour.
So. It's still winter and we're once again anticipating significant snowfall. For the last month or so I've been going to physical therapy twice a week to undo a plethora of mucle and bone kinks that resulted from a truly out-of-left-field injury last November. This means I've been able to observe a larger frame of the local landscape on an ongoing basis. Last Thursday I stopped on my way home; parking at a partially plowed snowbank in order to take the pictures in this post and a few dozen more that I'm using as visual reference points for a writing project.
For the past four years this marsh has become a place I see any time I'm going somewhere on a north-south axis. It would be a great spot to walk around and think, or bird-watch, or take a thorough plant geek inventory. But it's posted No Trespassing and I pay attention to that kind of thing. I stood on the road side of the snow bank and used my camera quickly. But I wasn't so fast that I missed noticing the small but definite swell of buds on some of the tree branches.
A few days later my husband drove me to the hospital for blood labs. I asked him to take a different road so we could see if a particular (very lovely and ever so nicely framed on both sides by an extra-attractive red barn) witch hazel tree had begun to bloom. It had not. But we did notice a nearby willow tree's bright yellow-green haze. Then this morning I was doing some standing yoga with my eyes focused on the trees outside my bedroom window. They looked different than they did a week ago. Yes. I could see and feel that their sap has begun to rise. When I went out to get the mail the background sensation of their regenerated life force was not so much in the background. It happens that I'd received a package I've been eagerly anticipating but, in that moment, I was a lot more interested in the trees' first few measures of resurrection.
I've been spending this winter season re-connecting with the poetry I love most. My favorite poet is Loren Eiseley. My favorite book of his work is All the Night Wings. The poem I'm sharing is in that book. It's my favorite poem, ever. And for always.
If you should go, soft-footed and alert,
Down the long slope of shale
Into a tumbled land of scarp and butte
Beyond the pale
Of the herding men, where water is under stone,
You would be in coyote country. It is the place
Where tumbleweed is blown
Four ways at once, and your neighbors are not seen
Except in loping shapes
of tangible dust.
Once, if you're lucky, something may pause and lift
One paw and two grey ears
In a moment's trust
That is gone like wind.
This is the road. Go down
Over the harsh way. If you dare, go down
Into the waste, where lonely and apart
The road runs north. Somewhere here is my heart,
If anywhere. I spy
Nothing at all - and you in turn may try
The thistle and subtle stones,
Or you may go
Southward tonight - be certain you will not know
More of me than is found
In two poised ears
Or feet gone without sound.
As I prepare for the new lunar cycle beginning tomorrow, I've been reflecting on a group of pictures I took during the last full moon. The image above captures a detail from one of the first trees that beckoned to me while I was coming to terms with being a property owner. This is a concept that's always been fairly repellant to me. The idea of land stewardship also causes me to recoil because both commonly employed definitions of human-earth relationship imply an inherent power-over that I have consistently perceived as both literally false and psychically blasphemous.
It seems somewhat odd to be mentioning this now because, over time, I have learned how to believe and feel what I do believe and feel without needing to run my mouth about it. This, to me, is a hallmark of upgraded personal development and, thus, personality maturation. So I was glad when I began to reach that point. Finally.
I perceive that shift as something I came to embody in part because of what I had been learning from trees. They very rarely speak unless spoken to and then they refrain from editorializing. On the previously unexplored other hand of shifting daily experience I was not at all sure what to do within the freedom silence brings. I assumed that eventually I'd start writing about some of what went into birthing this specific kind of liberation. I now find myself at that point; it's time for me to describe more details about my quest to understand where I belonged within a new landscape because this is a process that's currently shared by many people whether or not it relates to a sudden shift such as moving to a new place in the literal sense. For many individuals the undeniable but perhaps unexamined shift to "a new place" is more abstract and figurative in nature. And, in a lot of ways, that's often more unsettling and harder to reconcile than situational changes that hold a concrete form and structure.
Where I fit within humanity's molting and mutating form and structure, and how/what to write about my experiences, was something I have fretted about with a few close friends and within innumerable journal pages. Periodically I worried over it the way many people I know would fixate on whether or not to cut their hair, where to move a particular piece of furniture or whether to replaint a room or their new home's exterior and, if so, what color to choose.
Needless to say the type of garden variety human getting-nowhere-fast obsessiveness I'm describing proved crazy-making as well as unproductive. The tree above first beckoned to me when I went through the first (r)evolution of choosing to shut out/off my chattering brain so that I might begin to understand more intuitively where I fit. From there I believed it would grow clearer to me how I could most authentically and usefully perceive my place in the new landscape. To that end I settled my open palms on the tree bark at either side of the little doorway pictured above. I leaned my forehead very gently against the edges of the hollow space in front of the doorway; acknowledging that visual portal without attempting to psychically barge through it. Yesterday I read an old journal that refreshed my memory concerning how I addressed the tree. I told it with utmost sincerity: I have no intention of kicking ass and taking names. I need your intelligence a lot more than you'll ever need mine.
There was a beat of utter silence and then I felt the tree's good humor radiate much like a human's richly amplified belly laugh. This was a powerful enough experience that I remembered that part of the moment even before I read about it in the journal yesterday. I also remembered the care and tenderness with which I placed a thin bed of cornmeal and tobacco into a different shelf-like opening in the tree's trunk. Atop this standard offering mixture I placed an amethyst crystal point and a tiny fragment of elestial quartz on top of the cornmeal. This is for you. So that you might help me learn what love and working together means around this place. I carefully slid my palms back up the trunk until they were once again resting on either side of the little doorway-looking portion of the tree.
We'll take this slowly. That's what I felt the tree telling me and that's what being here to date has proved to be all about on all kinds of levels: taking things slowly. At this point, moving closer to four years of living here, I am continuing to learn where and how I fit. I'm also learning how to release attachments concerning what else does or does not belong here. From time to time I've peeped into the tree hollow where I left the two crystals; watching them sink slowly but surely into the deeper unseen levels of the tree trunk. Sometimes I've stuck a tentative finger into the hollow in order to feel the top edges of the crystals. During this past full moon's inspection tour I noticed they have finally faded from touch as well as view.
The white pine above is another tree that began vibing an interest in our arrival very soon into things. Nearly everyone who visits gravitates to this particular tree whether or not they are That Kind of Person. It's not very old so we have concluded it was not part of any deliberate landscaping efforts. The original landscape plantings were quite carefully arranged by someone who clearly knew what they were doing. This strongly intentional human-land interaction bookended a six and half year period in which the property was generally ignored and untended. The lawn and field were mowed and foundation plantings were dutifully hacked into the sizes and shapes that many people consider mandatory. But beyond that the existing plants and trees followed their own groove.
This reality has been very vexing in some aspects, such as the dauntingly overgrown perennial bed which I still haven't set right. And the massive amounts of pachysandra which have consumed so much turf I have reached the conclusion I no longer have the luxury of choice where it's concerned. I'm going to have to start pulling it up in large quantities. And it definitely does need to be manually pulled because, when in our second spring here we attempted to rototill it out of a small portion of the aforementioned perennial bed, this only succeeded in tripling the root system's hold on the space.
Little evergreens, however, are not viewed as unwanted interlopers. The sloping ground at the back of the field contains a wealth of very young white pines. The larger WP and tiny fir tree pictured above are growing adjacent to the driveway in terraced ground that flanks the basketball backboard. In addition to about a dozen evergreens there are a couple of Japanese dogweed saplings that I would like to relocate to the perennial garden. It was during my most recent full moon walk that I realized my perception of the backboard bed as a problem area has shape-shifted into the realization that it was a flourishing mini-nursery for trees that do well here.
Given what we've seen of tree destruction during the hurricanes, a tornado, and a couple of earthquakes, we perceive these volunteer offspring as the next generation of shade-makers. The originial landscaping of the perennial bed included a Japanese dogwood. It's now been in the ground since 1976 or thereabouts. Since our arrival it's never flowered very much. And, beyond that clue, the branch structure has been ailing quite noticeably for the past two years. I'm not sure if our continued judicious pruning will be enough to revitalize its life force. It may, bit by bit, be removed from its former spot of glory. So I'd like a few of its offspring to be introduced into other portions of the bed.
My beloved kitty girl has consistently displayed a much more direct process of new-place integration. After a week of nervous uncertainty she explored just enough to discover the prolific small rodent population. From there she developed a keen sense of turf seemingly overnight. How she came to further grasp the specific size and breadth of the property has been something of a mystery to we humans. She just got it a week and a half or so into things.
While we were hammering out the purchase agreement for this place I knew both realtors and the seller were bemused by my insistence that the "old" couch over the garage be included in the deal. But I also knew it was a very solidly made and entirely serviceable seating option and that it would be a very long time before I'd be able to afford something comparable to take its place. This is what my room-of-my-own looked like with nothing in it but the couch. I'll spare everyone images of what the same space looks like in the present tense.
At first everybody but me was referring to this space as my studio. I couldn't say that word with a straight face. And I didn't want to become somebody who could say it, let alone somebody who woke up one day with the realization that I considered the word a critical part of my identity. At the old place I had a room that was basically mine although my husband had a desk in the corner near the door to the living room and everyone who visited had to walk through the space in order to get anywhere else in the house. I referred to it as my workroom. That word didn't travel well especially at first; mainly because I did very little work and a whole lot of gawking out the windows.
For blogging purposes I started calling it the study-oh but after a time that felt really mannered and self-conscious and just the sort of twee re-naming that causes me to wince when I'm reading other blogs. Just say it plain. That's one of the first and most valuable things I learned about writing and verbal communication. And every time I've ignored the guideline I've sooner or later regretted it. Hence, in the walking-around world, I've always called my personal space the room over the garage. And while it's mine in theory, it also doubles as a guest room upon occasion. It's also the place where my son loves to spend quality time alone together. In fact, he refers to the times we spend up there with him talking a gazillion words a minute and me listening while I putter around with my paper projects and fabric scraps as you mothering me.
Nothing could make me happier or more convinced I'm doing allright at nurturing and nourishing a full grown man than to have him feel a special attachment to the space where I go to get away from everything else in order to dream and create (and gawk out the windows) undeterred. A long time ago I unplugged the phone that lives up there. I never go anywhere near the internet. I listen to the same seven or eight cds without growing tired of them. I listen far more to human-driven silence and the wealth of ambient noise. A few times a month my husband or I will declare it date night and then we'll go up there to draw together. Or he surfs on his laptop while I fiddle around with paper projects and we listen to a cd or three of his choice.
An old steamer trunk that originally belonged to my great grandmother sits beside the couch under the windows. The stick and the bark on top of the trunk are recent gifts from the fallen friends. There's also a clay saucer full of special stones and shells and so forth. Sometimes I light incense. Other times the buddha incense holder just sits there and holds his own counsel as buddhas are wont to do.
My son spent last weekend sleeping over and lounging around on the couch pointedly saying how much he loves this particular space. I just as pointedly ignored the implication. I know he covets the room over the garage although he likes his designated bedroom in the house. And he knows he's always welcome to spend as much time as he likes in my room over the garage. During the winter, when I turn the heat down and shut off the water, and during the dog days of summer when it's suffocatingly hot in this space, I spend my creative and professional writing time in the dining room. Going up to the room over the garage becomes a special treat that generally involves my son. My husband periodically mentions how we should go up there but it's a lot more cozy to stay in the living room with the fireplace. We sometimes discuss installing a pellet or wood stove where the "old" couch currently lives. We can't decide which. And more to the point we also agree that getting one or the other for some other part of the main house (we can't yet decide which kind of stove or which part of the house...) is far more important.
While my son was visiting it snowed almost constantly. This didn't result in very much precipitation but it did provide a nice background as we sat on the couch conversing. I got caught up on the doings and locations of all his important friends, going back to junior high school. I'm really happy for him that he keeps up with the most significant people in his life because I do too and have found it an immeasurably powerful experience as the years roll by.
When he first arrived it was after dark on Friday. We went, almost immediately, up to the couch. He promptly relieved himself of his phone, wallet, and car keys; arranging them carefully on the antique trunk. I found myself occasionally distracted by how carefully they were arranged. The tableau would have made a killer image for one of those don't say much, be as cryptic as possible with what you do say type of blog posts. All I'd have to add to the image is: a special guest.
I thought things like: Too bad it's too dark for a good look at the arrangement. Too bad I'd have to interrupt the flow to go fetch my camera. And then inevitably: too bad I personally have a pretty low tolerance for those kind of blog posts and wouldn't feel at all authentic or honest if I started caving in to the seemingly endless wave of micro-expression. And then finally, while my son was tippy-tapping out text messages with the friend he was planning to visit the next day: god I love this couch. I'm so glad I built this room around it.