When Miss Dog nosed me off the couch this morning, my head was still aching and my throat still raw from the cold that hit me toward the end of last week, and I staggered back to the cushions thinking that I'd be flat on my back for another day and in no state even to watch videos (a library copy of The Crossing
, is waiting for me; it may be of interest to some of you because, according to one YouTube commenter
, "Alexander Hamilton [Steven McCarthy] never looked so sexy!" and I admittedly requested it because I'm still working through my Roger Rees fetish; he plays Hugh Mercer).
At any rate, three more hours of sleep + meds + coffee somehow worked wonders, at least to the extent of me feeling up to light gardening. I pruned the mess around the rogue rosebush and rooted three cuttings from it, dipping them first in honey:
"Honey" is also prompt 43 in Upper Rubber Boot's 100 Untimed Books
photo challenge, so this passage from an Emily Dickinson letter (28 December 1880) caught my eye:
The Honey reached us yesterday.
Honey not born of Bee -- but Constancy -- which is "far better." I can scarcely tell you the sweetness it woke, nor the sweetness it stilled.
In introducing the letter, the recipient's granddaughter notes that "death was again uppermost in [Emily's] mind" at this time, "two more persons were gone who had meant much to her in different ways" -- the novelist George Eliot and the physician David P. Smith. I am not grieving, exactly, but I did hear of two deaths last week that have me perhaps clinging a touch tighter to the connections that have persisted across time and distance. Both women died of cancer -- one last November, one this past March -- and I am not surprised that I was not in the loop about either passing, as it's been more than fifteen years since I saw either of them and I am no longer close to the people who would have known to let me know. But I am also immensely grateful to the connections deep enough to transmit both news and warmth every few years, which is how I found out about the former colleague, and to the internet's obituary archives for providing me closure on Marilyn, whose paintings hang in my living room and library. My copy of E. E. Cummings's collected poems was already pretty beat-up when I impulsively gave it to her during a workshop we were taking together; I wonder if it survived her own moves since 1995, or if a family member chucked it into a dumpster during the final cleaning-out, or if maybe she handed it on to another penny-pinched artist to enjoy.
I am not really fretting over what happened to the book, of course; it is merely somewhere for the sadness to go until I regain the drive to channel it into poems. In the meantime: honey and dirt. For perhaps the roses really want to grow