more of a shadow than a dog
Tuesday, September 11 2012
It was another day of relative silence on the Basecamp squawkbox, though I found myself paying close attention should there be issues I would need to address. Eventually, though, the greenhouse second floor project drew me in, partly because I now had the supplies to finish the cantilevered catform. After cutting a piece of Wonderboard to fit the catform's ceiling, I used spray foam to fill in what remained of the spaces between the catform's roof's rafters. This ended up being an incredibly messy job; the spray foam wasn't filling the spaces adequately, and so I found myself breaking off pieces of styrofoam to put into the spray foam, getting it all over my hands. I managed to get rid of some of it using paint thinner, but there was enough remaining to pick at for the rest of the evening. Occasionally I'd grab a knife and use it to scrape at my fingers. It's hard to describe the unpleasantness of flaking material rubbing against other flaking material between one's fingers.
Gretchen's poetry workshop, which restarted a week ago, met again tonight at the house. As usual, I kept to myself up in the laboratory, only coming down to retrieve the tea cup I'd left in the greenhouse or to pick up the weather station (a WS-1090) being delivered by the UPS guy. It was too dark (and even a little chilly) to set up the station tonight, but when I do, I'll finally be able to track wind direction and to log temperature, humidity, and barometric data.
I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to get to sleep easily tonight, so I took a hit of Ambien when I felt the evening winding down. As usual, I stayed up until its effects were well underway before heading off to bed.
I've been surprised by how sad I've been since Sally died. Late in life, she was more of a shadow than a dog, but now that she is completely gone I miss her terribly. The loss is bigger even than her absence; it seems to have cast a spotlight upon the essential gloom of existence, pulling forth unpleasant thoughts that I'm usually successful in suppressing. I've arranged dozens of Sally's pictures into a Facebook gallery, all of them arranged in chronological order, and I find myself flicking through them and watching her grow old, thinking to myself that nobody deserves such a fate. And while doing so, it's hard to suppress the knowledge that this is the matrix in which all of us are embedded. Indeed, I can also see me and Gretchen aging (though at a much lower rate) right there beside her.
I'm finding that in my present condition, I can only listen to sad music, mostly by Dead Can Dance. Recently there was a review of their latest albumn Anastasis on Sound Opinions that condemned it all as cheesy and ponderous. But after downloading that album (because that's how I roll), I'm really liking it, especially "Children of the Sun" (which the Sound Opinions guys singled out for mockery) and "Amnesia," both of which touch on aspects of origins, shared experience, and mortality that are now foremost in my mind. If it's cheesy, it's the kind of cheese I like: about equal parts film soundtrack music, classic-period (1967-1972) Moody Blues, Christmas music, and wailing Muazzin. [Another gorgeous song is the gloriously Islamo-Celtic "Return of the She-King."]
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