Summer is, paradoxically, a more introverted time for me. I’ve been on an academic calendar for so long–I regard it as a fishing boat regards the tides. The rhythms rule my life. Each semester has a curve, but summer is the major break. (May I just add for those of you out there who think teachers get paid for 12 months but work 9 that teachers are on 9 month contracts. And either work summers doing something else–I once met two different middle school teachers driving cabs in the space of one week–or stretch the paycheck).
But this summer I’m not “working” although I’m still overseeing the literary magazine production, producing books for other authors under Tres Chicas and Miriam’s Well, midwifing two books of mine (both forthcoming with New Mexico presses), and, oh yes…writing. It looks like a lot, but it really isn’t too much. I’m hanging around a lot and wasting a lot of time. The cat is well groomed. The yard is well watered. Then, there is my TO DO list.
For three seasons a year, I put things off on to the Summer To Do List. Did I change the water filters? Check. Look at an old poetry manuscript (and discover to my horror that it was deeply flawed)? Check.
Summer gives me more time alone, more time staring into space, and more time to notice small things. Today I’ve been experiencing how the internet lets me into intimate personal spaces created by other people. I got an invitation to write a list that quantified things with numbers–an intriguing idea. It is for another writer’s project–and I’ll share the result when she posts it. But it got me thinking about my house (again!)–this time perhaps more affectionately:
“The Sewing Room”
When my daughter left home, I took her room (which had been mine originally) and called it a sewing room, but I didn’t sew. Then I started!
I realized I should have called it the “world peace room” or the “best selling novel room” because its name was predictive.
27 pink, turquoise, and gray knit squares that have not been sewn into an afghan
3 pairs of underpants drying
114 books my daughter took to her house
4 mouse holes
16 bits of mosaic inlaid in the wall
2 times that this room was mine
26 big plastic letters of the alphabet
2 now gone high school boyfriends who are the reason the screen is broken
1 wooden spoon used to prop the window open
76 feminist Tarot cards
40 unsold copies of my haiku book
2 pots with polka dots–too ugly to plant
1 weaving of a volcano
2 pillowcases embroidered by a woman who crossed herself with my pesos