Wednesday, March 04, 2009

a warming trend and some mid-week meandering

Although it is 16 degrees yet again this morning, we are headed into a warming trend this afternoon, as the temps roll into the 40s. Each day until the weekend we will jump up 10 degrees or so, and by Saturday will be in the 70s. I think all of us here at November Hill are ready for spring.

Yesterday my daughter reported that when she went out to check on hay, the donkeys and Salina were in the barnyard, joined by a single deer who had been there long enough to be ignored by the partial herd.

I had seen footprints in the snow the day before, coming over the fence, through the woodline, and into the barnyard, so it's possible we have a deer who wants to be a horse hanging around.

Most of the day we spent going out, doing chores, and coming in to warm up again. Keil Bay rolled in the cold mud and plastered his entire left side. The only thing to do was let it dry, and brush it out before sunset so he could get his blanket back on.

It never really warmed enough to thaw the pumps, although I managed to get the barn pump clear so I could do waters. On these cold days, I begin to get a sense of the routine of a working farm, where the day stretches ahead and certain things have to get done before sunset. Other things can't be done until the sun has warmed things up a bit. A rhythm to the day forms, and on some deep level, is very satisfying.

Another rhythm in my day, thanks to Kim at Enlightened Horsemanship, is the hourly gong that sings out as if by magic from my computer. It's like a call to stillness, a moment to pause and do nothing but listen. Each time it sounds, I make a little sound of surprise and pleasure. It's quite wonderful.

Yesterday in a comment over at Peggy Payne's Boldness Blog, I wrote:

Boldness in the Moment, Joy in the Process

And Peggy remarked that this phrase was needlepoint worthy.

I hadn't stopped to consider my own hastily typed in words, but after seeing her response, I realized that I love the idea of what I'd written.

We haven't ridden since Friday due to rain, snow, and windy cold, but hopefully we will return to the routine this afternoon, or tomorrow, depending on how much the arena thaws today.

Meanwhile, I have continued my editing, which has its own rhythms - page by page, section by section. This novel goes back and forth in time, and as I work through the pages/sections, it feels very much like I'm defying time itself, slipping not only into the lives of the characters, but into their youths.

This novel is more complex than the first two, as it weaves several stories together, in a way that we never get to do in our own lives, because we don't have the ability to go back and forth between perspectives, back and forth in time, making the connections that link them all together. This is the same book that I was working on back in the blog archives, putting the sections individually out on the floor of the garret to try and organize the flow of the story. It's a nice thing to be editing through it now, experiencing the results of many incarnations of arrangement. It has taken me awhile to get it right.

Michael Blumenthal, in his poem called What I Believe, writes:

I believe that, when all
the clocks break,
time goes on without them.

I'm not sure how that connects exactly to what I've written today, but it's been in my head all week long and it seems to have informed today's meanderings. The poem in its entirety is a favorite of mine, and worth looking up.


Anonymous said...

"Boldness in the Moment, Joy in the Process" Perfect!
You are starting to sound like Edward Espe Brown!

billie said...

I had to look him up - I liked what I read online, except for his potato chip meditation, which made me think he didn't use the Cape Cod brand of chips - they are so good. :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

I also like your new quote and think it is needlepoint pillow worthy.
I'm sure your book will be intriguing to say the least, I love involved books.

Matthew said...

Reading this blog is always a grounding moment for me, an experience of touching something authentically real, warm and radiant.

I'm sure your latest novel will touch the reader in the same way.

billie said...

Thank you, Arlene. Your use of the phrase 'your book will...' makes me happy. :)

billie said...

And thanks, M. - that is so nice to read.