Tuesday, June 07, 2011

it's full on summer, tiger lilies are out; my friend with the mulberries say the turtles are crossing the road to get the mulberries. i myself haven't gotten any mulberries, haven't saved a turtle, in fact I've only even seen one turtle, a poor thing that started across a driveway that turned very sunny very suddenly as i was riding my bicycle one day. I'm riding every day, both ways, and swimming, and gaining weight on top of that. the richness of life keeps putting chocolate cake in my path.

at the japanese garden i noticed that the mulberry tree that was hit by the big storm two years ago is still standing; only its top three quarters or so were sheared off by the storm; the huge stump remainder is still about ten feet, and has three or four young shoots coming out of it. What, they aren't going to cut the remaining stump? i hope not. it was a great tree, safe from the ravages of insecticides that they put on the trees that are too close to the road, or too close to the path; and that tree literally looked over a goldfish pond where we could pluck the mulberries and give them directly to the fish. This was a lesson in using our power as people to do good things in the food chain, as opposed to, say, boys throwing rocks in the pond and causing ripples and alarming the goldfish, letting them think the little rocks were huge food at the same time they tried not to get hit by them.

speaking of the japanese garden, that garden is somewhat of a symbol for me of haiku, and i'm thinking of collecting and publishing in paper form the haiku that i have so far in my collection; there are hundreds but i've lost count. the problem is that they range from over thirty for a state like illinois, but only six for a state like alaska, and those six are all summer; ideally you have a distribution of two or three for each season. I have no problem with picking out the best twelve or so (thirteen if you allow new year to be separate) for states like illinois but the question would be, would I have time to literally finish the collection, by demanding of myself what I need to finish states like Alaska. my goal would be, to finish by the fourth of july, an honorable goal; i republish it, by web, on the fourth anyway, but in this case I would like to print one. print one and carry it around.

this is in the general vein of printing up virtually everything I have; making copies of short stories, walmart stories, haiku, virtually everything, as possible. I'm tired of having these projects half-finished; or, worse, finished with the writing but halfway between here and there with the printing. I'm beginning to say to myself: make it publishable, put it out, get it on the table. then i'll tell you what will happen next: i'll give it away for christmas or sooner. that's what tends to happen, anyway.

the sap flows in the poison ivy which reaches its viney tendons around every sentient thing, old pieces of wood in the yard, an ancient wooden rocking horse that my wife claims is unsafe for children's use and thus sits out back behind the shed looking at the poison ivy all day. in the old days, behind-the-shed activities made that place an important venue that would never, repeat never, get overgrown by poison ivy for any reason, due to overuse and general stomping around. i had a kind of vision while i was swimming; it was a kind of a dream of a right occupation or at least a pleasant way to spend the last ten or fifteen of my working years, if I should get tired of teaching. The other day we took a long ride, thirty eight miles or so southeast down past little grassy road, onto the interstate for a dazzling moment, where the interstate forked and we chose the paducah exit over the memphis one; police were patrolling by the dozens as it was memorial day weekend, but in any case we got directly off the highway, drove through incredibly beautiful hilly wooded land, and past a trailhead way out in the country there, called tunnel hill, where a wooded trail goes through a tunnel; it's short, but it's popular, mostly wooded, and the trailhead parking area was full of people because it was a beautiful, sunny, summer day. Our friends lived near there; finding them was a disaster because we didn't know the area, and folks in the nearby houses weren't exactly eager to mix in with wayfarers from the highway. But let's just say I was impressed by the general stunning hilliness and beauty of the landscape itself. and, while I was swimming, it occurred to me that the place needed a backpacker's outpost: a place that sells packs and supplies, but also such things as fresh coffee, canoes, and such. now on reflection i'm not sure i'm the person to get involved in any material-plane type dealing, since when could I ever keep track of how many packs I have on hand at any given moment, or how many straps each one might have, or how much weight it might be able to carry? this would be a challenge for me.

i don't argue with a dream though. it wasn't an order, or a vision, at least I don't think it was. i saw it pretty clearly; maybe i could call it a leading. This town's outfitter is said to be not a friendly guy (though I haven't bought a single thing there in over seventeen years; maybe that alone is a bad sign) – but, who knows? It would get me out on that hiking trail, at least once in a while, say, on a nice, clear, blue-sky, sunny day like what we get every once in a while. a person could do worse.


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