Missing a sense of Home; A Dirge.

What is home? People? Place? Memory? Do we actually adapt? Maybe the real question is What is loss? What is identity? How is our own individual identity connected with those whom we have lost ? I cannot articulate how deeply I miss my people that are gone. My brother Richard, my stepson, Scott, my friend and patron, Alice Bloom, my friend and mentor, Ivan Kats, and his troubled yet remarkable son, Tuckerman Kats, my father-in-law Ernest Pighills….gone; past, leaving nothing but unreliable memories of intimacies and connectedness that seem to be as transitory as the ashes that we throw into the garden. I don’t like to feel this sense of mortality and futility but I do and it crushes me.

I can’t call my dead  brother Richard and talk politics and film and nonsense and see his face as the sound of his voice made clear. Nor can I knock on Ivan Kats’ door, and be welcomed in with a glass of wine and witticism or a reading of Frederico Garcia Lorca- or a review of last night’s Longwharf Theater presentation.

I can think of Scott Pighills, his sweet, considerate nature and his gentlemanilness and remember (bitterly) the exceedingly brief time I had to share in his life but I cannot learn more about his interests and passions and disappointments and aspirations as a 21 year old.

Similarly, as much as I would like, I cannot speak with Ernest Pighills, my father-in-law, and try to understand what made him tick and what his opinions were on raising his sons.

Painfully, sadly,  I can re-live the precious moments that I shared in the company of Alice Bloom, a Chaucer scholar, but so much more, embraced in her warm and sassy style of erudition, enthusiasm, criticism and inspiration and I know in my heart that she, more than anyone, understood my work and encouraged it and embraced it, but I cannot talk with her; a loss that defies articulation.

Thoughts of these people who have had such a profound impact on my life are the things that keep me questioning the direction I move in.  May the gods bless them all and may we find our own way through the thickets.

Cabin Fever and Preparing for Spring


Cabin Fever

After an unseasonably warm winter it seems that Spring might arrive earlier than usual, but then again, I suppose we must always “beware the ides of March”. This English style weather we’ve been having doesn’t do much to lift us out of the ‘cabin fever’ doldrums; raw, penetratingly damp and greyish in hue. Glints of sunlight and moderate temperatures do penetrate our cage, but the moment we step outside and take the initiative to move a bit of mud around Mother Nature raps us on the knuckles to remind us of our place.  Well, okay, but she didn’t invent tools and To-Do lists so, there’s plenty to do while we wait for her to give us the nod on Spring activity, especially if, like us, you didn’t get around to doing all the things on the list last Fall.

Check Tools, Equipment and Supplies:

  • Sharpen pruners, loppers and shears; oil hinges
  • Clean and check functionality of spray bottles
  • Check supply of potting soil
  • Check supply of organic fertlizers (we use Espoma products, such as Bulbtone, Rose-tone, Holly-tone, etc…)
  • Prepare gardening calender
  • Check condition of watering devices (hoses, nozzles, spray heads, watering cans, etc…)
  • Check spades, trowels, rakes, hoes, etc..
  • Assuming that your garden seeds are well in order by this time, prepare a planting schedule and mark it on the calender. I’m going to be adventurous this year and plant lettuces before the last frost date. (I’ll keep you posted on how that goes).

Till the next post, Good Luck and really make an effort to enjoy the few pleasures that the winter season dictates; reading, cooking, organizing files, correspondance, etc…