Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Shelling Beans, Husking Corn



Here's what I'd like to be doing. Something with my hands, outside, in the dappled light, with a group of friends -- maybe gleaning.

I found a painting appealingly called Corn Husking Bee; it's a group of happy people, deep in corn, drinking and laughing and one of them is holding an ear of corn above their head. Triumphant. I have picked this.  Instead, as a writer, I toil inside, alone, and in my head, picking, picking, picking.

How about carding wool? How about Van Gogh's Women Working In A Wheat Field? (See above.)

Shelling beans, shucking corn, scrubbing the beards off mussels I've collected in a beat-up mussel-bucket handed down by generations, in an apron, on my front porch, using the back of my hand to brush the strands of my undone bun of honey-colored hair out of my face (this is a fantasy, and in it I am not going gray).

Instead of first-person narrative non-fiction: I would be out staking tomatoes. The old school femininity of gathering. Growing. Plucking. Placing. Stirring. Putting things into bowls.

Instead, I'm all forward thrust, criticism, feedback, argument, discourse, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Mine is not the burbling brook or the song of the lark, but the blaring ooga-ooga of an alarm on a submarine.

I need to surface. I need to open the window and let in the moonlight. I need to plant the fragrant vining jasmine my mother gave me.