dimanche 15 janvier 2012

Cagnes interlude

Winter wisteria

Sunrise left Saturday night. Gina left this morning. The rest of the horses leave tomorrow evening, followed by the last one, Elbow Beach, in another week, or so. Annie flies down and back tomorrow to see her horse run. Agata is taking care of the horses that will stay behind, Chantal will reign over vastly emptied yards home in Maisons-Laffitte, and she and I are left to wait for Gina's business to return in late February. Me? It's time for me to return to my own yards.

I lifted my head and looked around me this morning, and what I saw did not make me happy. Dust. Dirt. Decrepitude. The house and the garden have been left to themselves. They cannot make their own projects happen. I have been left to myself. I have been incapable of making my own projects for them happen. There is only one person who can change that, and it is not in lifting my head and looking around that I will find her.

I have preferred the warm, velvet muzzles of mares in my neck, blowing softly into my ear and nibbling my hair, the smell of oats and Guinness, apples and alfalfa. A pitchfork or branch broom to a rake in my hands. Horses to plans and orders and decisions over how much to spend on what, and how. It is time to put on my own oeillères australiennes and to do my work.

Why is it so hard? I know that when I will have done it, there will be a release, the chance for a relâchement and a relancement, a stretch of time for other things, finally, without guilt, and satisfaction in spades, a heavy, heavy weight off my mind. Sometimes, it seems like procrastination is a sort of protection. But, against what? Everything that comes once the task is done, perhaps? It's not like I have not been busy. I have, but it is not as if these things that have occupied my time amount to my work being done, my home being something of which I can feel proud. My garden, too. How many times have we heard that the state of one's room, one's home is a reflection of the state of one's mind?

This is not good.

Imagine the house is finished. There will still be the housework to do. The dust that comes to lay itself in layers to dépoussiérer. The dirt that fills the corners to s'en débarrasser. The things that will continue to accumulate and not find a home in the still too limited space to ranger. The only solution is to determine the best systems of rangement and to build them. A good word, rangement, with its root rang, or to order or to arrange in nice neat lines, from the old franc work chramne or hramne, qui a ce sens dans la loi salique.

I prefer the sense of "rang" dans "rangement" à celui de "la loi salique".

Homes need their backstages. They need their stagehands, their carpenters, painters and managers. I need a staff; but I am not getting one anytime soon.

I have six weeks, six weeks measured in Cagnes until spring's work in the garden and Gina's return with the horses and the courses beginning in Chantilly and Saint-Cloud, to get my plans done and off to the builder to reserve his time in the clement months to come.
....

Frost on amaryllis bud in January


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