I usually write Frog Hospital at the library or the café, where they have a wireless connection to the Internet. The Internet is handy for checking facts. For instance, in the last issue I wrote about Cape Ann in Massachusetts and its wild, granite seascape.
But was it spelled Cape Ann or Anne with an “e” ? I checked the spelling on the Internet.
Besides that, I just like being connected, and being able to interrupt my writing so that I can dash off an email to a friend. This is called multi-tasking, but when I was a kid, this was called a lack of concentration.
Somehow, the world turned upside down in this respect. To be able to do one thing well and ignore all distractions -- that was good.
Now it is the mark of a dullard -- you’re only doing one thing at a time? -- you must be a little stupid.
I am writing at home this morning, at the farmhouse on Fir Island, and we don’t have the Internet here, thank God.
….Pause. Sip coffee. Look out the window at the rain coming down across the field. The branches on the weeping birch are not moving -- almost perfectly still, meaning that the wind is calm.
The clouds behind the birch tree are not moving either. The clouds are very low to the ground, and I can’t see the foothills, which are five miles east of the farmhouse, across the flats.
It rained all last night. It was the first real rain for many months, and the fields are puddled like a sheet of water.
The monsoon is here, although to what degree? Will it rain every day for months and not have a spot of sunshine until next summer? It could happen.
Or bitter cold and snow in January, like last year with icy roads, and we were marooned in the house for days? Maybe.
Or a thaw and a burst of warm weather in the middle of winter -- so warm and sunny that fruit trees burst into blossom.
Or a winter unknown and terrible with weather worse than a nightmare and storms of climactic extremes?
This cannot be known, except that it rained last night and it has begun.
All this without recourse to the Internet, I simply looked out the window.
Also, I have a way to check spelling -- a paperback dictionary. I can look up “recommend.” It’s one of those words that trouble me -- is it two “c” s or two “m”s ?
Traveling has only one “l” -- I think it should have two “l”s, but it does not.
Pause. Go into the kitchen, prepare cold cereal with brown sugar, let it set for a few minutes to make the flakes less crunchy. Let the dog out. Wash a few dishes from last night. Do a quick dry mop on the kitchen floor. Eat the cereal.
I can see my cashmere sweater lying on the un-made bed. Janet Laurel had a yard sale at her home in LaConner this summer. That’s where I found the cashmere sweater. I bought it for only one dollar -- that’s a pretty good find. And it’s so warm that I practically can’t wear it without sweating.
So I think I’ll bring out my red cotton sweater and wear that instead.
I was sick last week. I had the flu. I had to stay home, in my room, and under the covers for several days. It was an interesting experience. I discovered that I liked staying home all day and I was tired of running around all the time, and the things that I could not do because I was ill were things I hardly needed to do, and that it’s much better to relax on my own premises and read a book.
Or draw, or cook, or walk around the field. I discovered this is actually my home and it’s good to be here.
It’s still raining. The clouds are very thick and low. The wind is starting to blow -- I can see the branches moving on the birch trees.
I can’t see any birds, but I know the birds are out there somewhere. There’s lots of birds around here, especially the snow geese.
So, what I’ll do, is just stay home all winter. We have tons of firewood. I have to go to work and make money, and I need to go into town to buy groceries, but otherwise who needs it?