Late Summer

Here’s the thing: I’m not much of a writer these days. I’m just a journal-keeper. A Morning Page scribbler of handwritten notes about bills in need of paying and cat boxes in need of tending.

It’s not writing.

I’m not even sure if this is writing.

Typing, maybe. I’ve always been a good typist.

Late summer, and the yard is utterly overgrown. I wave to my neighbor through the tangle of grapevine overtaking the north side of my little lot. Things grow so fast here. I mow a path alongside the explosion of honeysuckle. Volunteer mulberry trees appear out of nowhere, three feet tall before I even notice them. How can that be?

Out back, behind the house, I keep a far corner of the lot untouched. It’s shaded and wooded. More grapevine attaches to the side of my garage, climbs across the shingled roof. My insurance company tells me it all must go, that the vines and young trees are a threat to the integrity of the structure. But this is Indiana, and the abundant flora will have its way. I’m shopping for a new insurance company.

The Oval One was in town last week. It was billed as a rally, which is to say, a campaign event. It never ends, the campaigning. I’m sure they called it that so they could toss out the nonbelievers, of which there were a few. Two of my friends were there, dressed as Handmaids, in red cloaks and white bonnets. One of them even made it into the venue, before being escorted back out to the sidewalk by two men who weren’t interested in parsing her First Amendment rights.

I listened to a livestream of his remarks. I won’t do that again.

You couldn’t call it a speech. There was lot of chanting by the audience. “Lock her up, lock her up.” “Build the wall, build the wall.” So many things were so very great, the greatest, the biggest, the strongest, the most amazingly amazing.

He’s a midway huckster, and we Americans do love a circus.

It will not surprise me if he’s re-elected in 2020. Such are the times.

So my writing practice is giving me grief, perhaps in part because the huckster is sucking all the oxygen out of the room. I am light-headed, in need of something I know not what.  I go outside and breathe in the last of the fragrant honeysuckle, and tell myself I’ll cut it back to a manageable size next spring.

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