I love these things, more than one should admit in our world of thin health, mown lawns, and formulaic best sellers. I also love rain, and am not part of that inevitable cultural chorus that is compelled to sing “What a great day!” every time the sun shines. Give me a break, and sunglasses, and my visor and headache pills, please.
I wonder if my blogs might seem like whiney sour grapes, ripe complaints about all the ways I don’t fit into the culture around me. If so, I will have to work on that because the truth that I want to be communicating is a different, probably more annoying thing: joy bordering on arrogance. I love my life; the thin groomed culture can go judge itself.
So, I like rain, and I’m happy being fat. When the field grass gets tall and wavy, many colored and multi-textured and wild… then, it is beyond beautiful. Perfectly groomed golf course green grass is beyond boring, kind of like the skinny girls.
When I was young, I was thin as a needle (a man once told me this, complaining of my sharp bones.) But over the past thirty years, I’ve gained a few pounds every year until I am now at a comfortable weight. By some scale, my pounds might rate as “obese,” and yet I carry them and keep active. What “comfortable” means for me is that if I get some cancer, like Will had, I can afford to lose seventy pounds to the illness. I understand that being “fat” is stressful for some people, but I am primitive in my stresses, as in my joys.
Grass tall enough to swim through, to get lost in, to be a hiding place – this is the best fruit of summer for me. I live on a couple acres of this precious stuff. I like the lawn parts best when they rise up to a plucky six inches, uneven and weedy, a little culture of their own. Because I have a riding mower, I can let it get that high and still be able to take it down before it becomes a Fourth of July fire hazard. Then, in the field below, I mow around my plantings and the apple trees, trails around the edges. I love mowing, so there’s a nice balance.
Ever since I was skinny, I’ve hidden in the shadows of tall grass, reading thick books with lots of characters, stories, ideas. I enjoy books that are like ripe virgin grass, where every inch is new territory. Flowers, bugs, and the dirt hold it all together and there is no simple recipe.
When I give my novels to readers, I get consistent feedback. Good writing, but too much. Too long, too many people, too many stories, too many ideas. Mow it, or at least trim it back, they say. Editing is mowing. Okay; I don’t want my mower, or my poor readers’ brains, clogging. But the clover and the daisies stay!