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SurpriseSpring

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Julian Schnabel: Rose Painting (Near Van Gogh’s Grave) V (2015)


" … just not quite prepared for it this time."


Though I thought I was paying close attention, this Spring successfully snuck up on me. I'm struggling to get into synch with it. Most years, I would have already sorted through seed packets and sliced out at least one nursery visit by now, but I have barely soiled my overall's knees yet. I just cannot seem to find the rhythm of this season. After all those years in exile dreaming of how it would finally be when we were back in The Villa Vatta again, this turn of events seems particularly disappointing, perhaps tragic. It might be a bout of Dream Come True Syndrome, where the object of long affection becomes the opposite once secured, where the true love only lives in anticipation of finding it, and withers as soon as it's actually touched. Or, it might well be something considerably less insidious. How could I possibly tell which?

I've started baby steps.
In this state, after I've been successfully stalked and surprised, my timing tends to be off and the rhythm of proper engagement eludes me. I must engage slowly, it seems, or simply overwhelm myself. This response can't help but initially exacerbate the difficulty because it creates a deeper backlog of undones as I ration out my engagement. If I'm lucky, a rhythm will emerge and I'll be back up to speed, but at this point, I cannot know if that rhythm and its accompanying motivation will manifest, or when. Until then, I'll suffer from a Seasonal Arrhythmia Disorder, moving in what might have been a perfectly appropriate Winter cadence, but the magnolia's in bloom and the garden impatiently waits for my already tardy attention.

I happened upon someone on Facebook this morning that my brother years ago told me, used to live in this house when we were kids. I remain terribly interested in this house's history as several mysteries remain to be explained. I know there was a fire sometime in its past. I believe it was built before indoor plumbing was an option. I think the back upstairs was once a screened in sleeping porch, a common feature of this house's era. I have some researching to accomplish down at the County offices, but I'll welcome speaking with anyone with first-hand knowledge, though we've obliterated much of the mid-century remodel we found when we bought the place twenty years ago. I just want to know the past rhythms of this place. I sent a friend request. We already have several friends in common. Maybe my request will surprise him as much as stumbling across him surprised me. Most stories unfold in just such surprise twists.

I was once the master of this place. I lived slightly ahead of it in every season. I kept it tidy and well-tended, and I took considerable pride in maintaining that appearance, though I fear that I might be passing into a slightly different stage of life, one where I find myself much less attracted to appearances. I watched as my neighbors prepared their front yards for Spring. I was still feeling more like hibernating than engaging, so I watched without joining them outside, like a kid quarantined from a party. I told myself that I had some more urgent effort ahead of Spring cleaning, but I didn't. I was just hibernating longer than usual. In Colorado, I could get away with deferring Spring cleaning until May or even June, some years, since snow didn't stop threatening until just after Memorial Day. Here in this valley they loved so well they named it twice, Spring arrives before President's Day, ready or not. I was just not quite prepared for it this time. I pray my delay won't prove permanent.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved







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