Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Sowing optimism

This past few days (weeks/months/years) I 
have mostly been distracted from writing ... being optimistic in the garden.

Seeds of optimism
Gardening needs optimism. Sowing tiny dust like seeds into mud and hoping for big, strong, fruitful plants - how's THAT ever going to work?

visualising success!

The weather is terrible but the occasional exclamation of sun to punctuate the sleet and wind, and the calendar confirmation that it is NOW APRIL and I'm ready to go. I am compelled to act. The shelter of my greenhouse secures a spring in my step and my heart fills with hope, enthusiasm and optimism.

Nothing will grow if its not at least given the opportunity. Time invested now has the potential to reap rewards later. Attention to detail is required to secure the maximum opportunity for success but too much attention to detail at this stage can be inhibiting. All seeds come with instructions for perfect conditions - sowing medium, temperature, circumstances in which the seed most likely to establish itself as a healthy plant and go on to produce a bountiful harvest, but there's a healthy chuck it in and give it a go approach to which I subscribe - I have to, I live in the North!

Gardening is not unlike writing then. Chuck it in (or out on to the page) and see what happens, it has to be the healthiest approach. I have many ideas, too many to secure the most fruitful harvest for all. There are optimum conditions for writing but sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what you've got. And if you don't try, don't summon the optimism to act then there is absolutely no chance any idea will flower wholesomely! 

Have I convinced you? I think I've almost convinced myself ... now where is my note book?

I've started so I'll finish ... probably.

This past few days (weeks/months/years) I have mostly been distracted from writing ... absorbed in the art of painting. I say 'art' but this is not some artistic pursuit, this is very much a practical endeavour.
The gateway to our inner sanctum of our home is our dining room. It was grubby and, really, all it needed was a lick of paint. A slap of emulsion of some pretentious off white variety to brighten it up. Right?
Being inherently lazy, in order to actually embark on such a project takes a lot of tough self talk and a lot of declarations to anyone who might (or not) be listening to validate my plans. It's not so much the wielding of a paint brush as the chaos and disruption required, and the fact that the preparation and clearing up takes so much longer than the actual painting bit (is it me?). Moving furniture always means finding dust and dirt in health threatening quantities that have previously lay dormant (I do hope this isn't just me?) and this was far worse than other rooms I have bravely tackled. Our lounge is relatively sparsely furnished, the nudge of a sofa here and there (with a mask to guard against the inevitable inhalation of enough dust to drown your lungs) was pretty much all it took. Here, in the dining room, there is the domestic abyss of the side board. The cupboards take animal food and related paraphernalia, in one and an assortment of alcohol and soft drinks in the other - 10 year old Bucks Fizz anyone?
Then there are THE DRAWERS. The top one holds keys, most of which have not opened anything of relevance in the past five years; money, most of which is bits of foreign currency (You never know when you might need French Francs again) and all manner of potentially critical salvage that doesn't have a place to live in the rest of the house.
The second drawer holds everything demoted from the first. Imagine just how useless you have to be to be lower than outdated currency and a key to a house that was demolished at the turn of the century! it's a (very little bit like) 'potentially important but not critical at this moment in time' storage facility. Upon emptying, I piled various scrap bits of paper and booklets together which I hope MrT will sort through, I am also hopeful that some may be demoted further to the recycle bin; I did spot a manual for a vacuum cleaner we retired a couple of years ago. I should clarify that I am absolutely banned from assigning anything to the recycling facility, too often have I 'just chucked the lot' including the very piece of paper MrT requires to corroborate the terms and conditions of ... WHATEVER!
There's a bottom drawer too. It's bigger than the others and I think you can probably guess what purpose that serves.
Meanwhile, back at the painting (and trying to ignore the fact of it being the most beautiful weather we've had for some years), all is well. I'm in 'the zone' - strong hypnotic strokes transfer the promise of 'natural understated warmth' from the tin to the walls around me.
I'd rather be gardening! I try to ignore the glorious spring sprawling into summer beyond the window. Out in the garden I could be doing all manner of pottering. I could busy myself endlessly doing absolutely nothing. For me gardening is mostly about contemplating and considering and very little about actual tangible output. The great thing about gardening is that output is so difficult to monitor. Not like painting. I've declared I WILL paint the dining room, started painting the (bloody) dining room and now I absolutely must FINISH it but despite the chaos, there is something to be said for the discernible accomplishment of completing a task.
As for writing, the chaos is not so easily sorted... Words in piles stuffed into various holding bays waiting to be sorted and sifted. Rather than taking the time to tabulate, the drawers of my brain are wedged full of fragments. Some of this is essential, some not, I certainly don't feel nearly qualified to evaluate it. The dining room's looking lovely though!