amplitude and abundance*

The stall is unattended.  Some days, like yesterday, it’s all tomatoes. Other days, it’s a mix of giant zuchinni, yellow squash, peppers, and yeah, tomatoes.  You pull up into the dusty lot, step out of the car into the heat, and the smell and the taste of tomatoes envelopes you.

There are two handwritten notes attached to the metal moneybox. One apologizes in advance for nibbles by wandering deer. The other explains that the stand is closed on Wednesdays, in solidarity with the farmer’s market.

Sometimes you have to find the bowl of the scale that’s blown off into the weeds or down the sidewalk, sometimes the bags are all gone. But the one thing that seems constant is that the box is stuffed with money, you have to work a little to push your dollars into the slot. You realize then that you are paying for two things, really: the divinity of fresh tomatoes, as well as the chance to prove you can be trusted.

*Post title from Pablo Neruda’s Oda al Tomate (English translation)

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Success in failure

In the time I’ve lived at this house, one thing I’ve not done at all is landscaping or yard work, other than basic mowing and weed eating. Partly because I couldn’t afford it, partly because I didn’t have the time, but mostly because I wasn’t inspired yet.  My usual pattern with big projects, for interiors or exteriors, is to do nothing until I figure out the best path of action. That usually takes a long time but I trust the process.  I’ve learned the hard way, too.  I’m such a circular thinker that if I don’t wait at first,  I’ll start things on an impulse, then a different impulse takes over and I’ll either abandon it or it morphs into something I don’t like anymore and I get hopelessly frustrated. It’s best to get my brain out of the way and let the space teach me what to do with it.

I’ve finally settled on what to do in the front yard. I knew all along that I wouldn’t be keeping the manicured turf grass that came with the house.  Water’s becoming more precious by the minute around here, we pay a fortune for it, and anyone who uses it to keep turf grass alive is an idiot. I’ll be replacing it with a combination of native grass, limestone and river pebbles, and stepping stones in paths and wider paved patches, with larger native plants in groupings. I’m still sketching; I’ll start the heavy work in the cooler weather, then plant in the spring.  I won’t get it done all at once, so I’m leaving the brown grass to hold the soil.

The sage above is the one plant I’ve put in the soil since moving here. Like me, it’s a transplant from the failed marriage. Not long before things went south, the ex and I had put a bunch of them in at the old place.  I took some with me when I moved out, this was the only one that survived, and I’ll attest that it’s thrived largely on neglect. This is the fullest set of blooms it’s ever had, result of a couple of welcome rain showers a few weeks ago.  With everything around burned and dried to a crisp, the luscious purple is heartening, reminding me to be patient.

Alejandro. Acoustic.

Where I’ll be tomorrow night.

Just listening to a neighbor strum on the guitar. No big.

Do I live in a great town village or what?

Below, Alejandro with some guy from Jersey.

Why I was late to work

haybale

Had to stop.

Like butter, the light was.

I have very little choice in such matters.

Butter.