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Monthly Archives: August 2012

I often think that I should like to have my house front on this mass of dull red bushes, omitting other flower plots and borders, transplanted spruce and trim box, even graveled walks–to have this fertile spot under my windows, not a few imported barrowfuls of soil only to cover the sand which was thrown out in digging the cellar…Bring your sills up to the very edge of the swamp, then (though it may not be the best place for a dry cellar), so that there be no access on that side to citizens. Front yards are not made to walk in, but, at most, through, and you could go in the back way.

Yes, though you may think me perverse, if it were proposed to me to dwell in the neighborhood of the most beautiful garden that ever human art contrived, or else of a Dismal Swamp, I should certainly decide for the swamp.

– Thoreau, “Walking”

 

It’s funny to read this after just reading Cole Swensen’s Greensward (and, a while back, Ours). She is so into the contrived, constructed garden space, the formal walkways and mapping of landscape. Every blade of grass the same length. An aesthetics of nature at right angles, geometric.

 

from my first garden, two years ago

I’m real excited because Tuscaloosa has a new independent coffee shop, and their iced coffee comes with evaporated milk, and you get a dollar off for riding your bike there, and they are playing Sixpence None the Richer. I have already read four reading assignments here. I can feel myself getting back into semester mode, planning my time out because I have to, moving from activity to activity. Scheduling. Man do I like scheduling.

The space of writing is to be traversed, not pierced; writing constantly posits meaning, but always in order to evaporate it.

– Roland Barthes

I kind of really, really enjoy reading for class. I also just read some of Thoreau’s Journals, and he talked about how he accidentally had a snake in his stomach but then it wanted water so it went up his throat and he yanked that snake right out and never had snake problems again, so basically Thoreau is a lot cooler than I thought he was.

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I have problems with being on time. This is a thing I inherited from my mother, but I accept full responsibility. I just don’t know time very well. Me and time, we’re not close. I never know how long anything will take me to do, and it always takes longer, and then I show up late, which everyone expected anyway, and I feel horrible guilt about it.

HORRIBLE guilt. I value your time, I really do. I just don’t know how to be responsible in that way.

Running late is usually my excuse for driving my car to campus, which is a bad habit I would like to evaporate. This morning, on boyfriend’s advice, I woke up at 7 and had time to wake up, brush teeth, water the garden, feed the cat his 2 morning meals, take a shower, eat breakfast, and walk to campus. WHAT WHAT. You know it.

Me and time, we have a difficult relationship but we are working on it.

 

There is only one more day until the semester starts. I only have classes Monday/Tuesday/Thursday, so technically there are two days until I teach, and actually I won’t have any grad classes of my own until next Monday, but still. I have a bunch of reading to do for my forms class, and I think one of these packages contains Thoreau’s Journals, which I’m supposed to read day-by-day. I have printed out my syllabus and my students’ first reading assignment. The garden has been weeded.