And A. felt herself released, in another world, she felt she breathed differently. But still she was afraid of how many of her roots, perhaps mortal ones, were tangled with her blog. Yet still, she breathed freer, a new phase was going to begin in her life.So that was going on back then, and it was manifested on the blog — the slightest hint — like this.
Reader_iam also kept a cherishing eye on A., feeling she must extend to her her female and professional protection. She was always urging her ladyprofessorship to walk out to a cafe, to motor over to Beaver Dam, to be in the air. For A. had got into the habit of sitting still by the laptop, pretending to read, or to make strawberry smoothies feebly, and hardly going out at all.
It was a blowy day, soon after the boys had gone back to Texas and California respectively, that reader_iam tweeted: 'Now why don't you go for a walk through the arb around the lake, and look at the daffs behind that new gardener's cottage? They're the prettiest sight you'd see in a day's march. And you could put some in your room: wild daffs are always so cheerful-looking, aren't they?'
A. took it in good part, even daffs for daffodils. Wild daffodils! After all, one could not stew in one's own juice. The spring came back... 'Seasons return, but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of Ev'n or Morn.'
And the new gardener, his thin, white body, like a lonely pistil of an invisible flower! She had forgotten him in her unspeakable depression. But now something roused... 'Pale beyond porch and portal'... the thing to do was to pass the porches and the portals.
She was stronger, and with the injections in her toe she could walk better, and in the arb the wind would not be so tiring as it was across the lake, flatten against her. She wanted to forget, to forget the world wide web and all the dreadful, carrion-bodied people. 'Ye must be born again! I believe in the resurrection of the body! Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it shall by no means bring forth. When the crocus cometh forth I too will emerge and see the sun!' In the wind of March endless phrases swept through her consciousness.
Little gust of sunshine blew, strangely bright, and lit up the celandines at the arb's edge, under the Sycamores, they spangled out bright and yellow. And the arb was still, stiller, but yet gusty with crossing sun. The first windflowers were out, and all the arb seemed pale with the pallor of endless little anemones, sprinkling the shaken floor. 'The world has grown pale with thy breath.' But it was the breath of Persephone, this time; she was out of hell on a cold morning. Cold breaths of wind came, and overhead there was an anger of entangled wind caught among the twigs. It, too was caught and trying to tear itself free, the wind, like Absalom. How cold the anemones looked, bobbing their naked white shoulders over crinoline skirts of green. But they stood it. A few first bleached little primroses too, by the path, and yellow buds unfolding themselves.
The roaring and swaying was overhead, only cold currents came down below. A. was strangely excited in the wood, and the color flew in her cheeks, and burned blue in her eyes. She walked ploddingly, picking a few primroses and the first violets, that smelled sweet and cold, sweet and cold. And she drifted on without knowing where she was.
Til she came to the clearing, at the end of the arb, and saw the green-stained stone cottage, looking almost rosy, like the flesh underneath a mushroom, its stone warmed in a burst of sun. And there was a sprinkle of yellow jasmine by the door; the closed door. But no sound, no smoke from the chimney, no dog barking.
She went quietly round to the back, where the bank rose up. She had an excuse: to see the daffodils.
And they were there, the short-stemmed flowers, rustling and fluttering and shivering, so bright and alive, but with nowhere to hide their faces, as they turned them away from the wind.
They shook their bright, sunny little rags in bouts of distress. But perhaps they liked it really: perhaps they really liked the tossing.
A. sat down with her back to a young pine tree that swayed against her with curious life, elastic, and powerful, rising up. The erect, alive thing, with it top in the sun! And she watched the daffodils turn golden, in a burst of sun that was warm on her hands and lap. Even she caught the faint, tarry scent of the flowers. And then, being so still and alone, she seemed to get into the current of her own proper destiny. She had been fastened by a rope, and jagging and snarring like a boat at its moorings, now she was loose and adrift.
The sunshine gave way to chill, the daffodils were in shadow, dipping silently. So they would dip through the day and the long cold night. So strong in their frailty!
She rose, a little stiff, took a few daffodils, and went down. She hated breaking the flowers, but she wanted just one or two to go with her. She would have to go back to Bascom and its walls, and now she hated it, especially its thick walls. Walls! Always walls! Yet one needed them in this wind.
When she returned to her office, reader_iam tweeted her: 'Where did you go?'
'Over to the arb for a walk! Here, here I shall post a photo I took of the little daffodils, aren't they adorable? To think they should come out of the earth!'
'Just as much out of air and sunshine,' garage mahal commented, peevishly.
'But modeled in the earth,' she retorted, with a prompt contradiction that surprised her a little.
The next afternoon she went to the arb again....
February 10, 2010
Ah! The memories!