Monday, July 28, 2008

So what the hell do you do there?

I get this a lot, usually from friends who can't seem to relate to simply being without always doing. There always seem to be chores that I can get done, wineries we haven't seen, restaurants to try, movies...I don't think much about them and don't much care. Sometimes I'll watch a car driving down Valley Grove. One car, two miles away, can be interesting. Not that I want to go microscopic and examine all things small, but a beetle walking across the porch can be really cool to watch. Sometimes I'll get out the telescope to look over a combine working a field five miles out, or I'll watch the wind on the wheat and the hawks sailing on that wind.

I like hearing through silence. This is a lot like building night vision...adjusting the eye until outlines show out, movements and shadows become distinct and seeing through the darkness feels precise and special. At first, I sit out and hear nothing. And nothing is good all by itself. Soothing and gentle. But then I hear bird sounds, in general, bird sounds that become the noise that the black bird over there is making, or the dove on the fence post, or the even the wind blown flutter from the back feathers on a kestrel's wing as it banks while scanning for field mice.
Sometimes I hear the motor from that one distant car and sometimes I hear the staccato noise from a moth bumping at the window glass. These things make me want to say hello to old friends, make me appreciate the convenience of email and long for the elegance of a handwritten letter.

I think of menus I want to cook and get excited about the possibilities...all the flavors in a rainbow. I hear the crunch of tires on the driveway and try to make out whose truck that is, way before I can see much more than shape and color. I have so much on my mind and now somebody is coming to interrupt...but that's fine, too.

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