Trying Again

Trying Again

Written Sunday morning, 4/2/17

This morning I washed dishes, scrubbed the kitchen floor, made biscuits and bacon, and managed to sneak in some sewing work. In the meantime, my partner installed the new-to-us washing machine, fixed the screen door, and cut the grass. Oh yeah, and then I did his laundry.

I’ve been fighting with myself for months now about whether or not to start writing blog posts again. Usually the fight has a lot to do with a) terror of the internet mobs b) feeling extremely privileged and therefore self indulgent for posting and c) being too busy and having to work. I’ve written at least four versions of something resembling a welcome back to my blog post, with varying levels of apology and excuse, trying to justify the fact that I’m writing at all.

But this morning, I am eating bacon and maybe had a glass of brandy and my socks are wet from that whole floor scrubbing thing and I thought, fuck it. I want to write about my often absurd life of being self employed and working three other jobs to make up for the fact that being self employed is not what it cracked up to be, about cheeses hanging from the cabinet handles, about my messy, stressful, beautiful life. And here we go, whether the internet is going to rip me apart for it or not.

First off, the absurd. This was one of those weeks where I didn’t get much done. Our dog injured himself again and I spent a lot of time on the phone with vets, trying to figure out how we would pay the vets, and then sitting around the vet’s office stressing out. He’ll be ok in the long run. Right after that, the washing machine broke, and so I spent some time calling repair people, baby sitting the chatty repair people, and generally not getting much of anything done. Such is the life of the self employed person. Some days it is really, really hard to get any work done.

Funnily enough the repair guy, who as aforementioned was very chatty, kept looking around our house and rambling on about how he always wanted to brew dandelion wine but doesn’t know how, wanted to can but Ball jars are so expensive, and loves to grow mushrooms. We had a lovely in depth conversation about how much time you can invest in these pursuits and still work and is it worth it? Etc. The whole thing seemed so absurd at the time, but it made me look around our house. Carboys everywhere. Two bookshelves full of mason jars, some full, some empty, are the first thing you see when you walk in the door (also my cutting table which at the time was covered in Etsy orders). Cheeses hanging from convenient spots, sink full of stock pots and frying pans, miscellaneous kitchen equipment (my yogurt maker, the crockpot) stuck in whatever space is left. To the average person, our house probably seems a little crazy. But I never even think about it until I see it from a stranger’s eyes. Luckily, it was a stranger who was really interested in homebrew.

We’re constantly a mess. I mean that in a loving way, but seriously, our house is generally a disaster. We’d rather be outside weeding the garden, pruning the blackberries, and harvesting kale than mopping the floor. When we sometimes are forced to get on top of cleaning we both melt down like, OH MY GOD THIS HOUSE IS SUCH A MESS. It’s kind of hilarious? It is, really. I work five jobs, I barely have time to do anything, and who wants to spend their ounce of free time mopping floors?

But last night I spent half the night making Indian food for no particular reason, and we ate and watched Doctor Who. We took a long hike, I got covered in cuts from brambles, I finally did the laundry. I drank a cup of tea. I’m trying to focus more on what is small and beautiful and makes our lives lovely. In a minute I’m going to go harvest some overwintered kale for dinner and probably replant the broccoli starts that didn’t make it. I do plan on fighting, and I am aware of what’s going on in the wider world. It’s what makes it so hard most days to remember that I still need to weed the carrots if we’re going to have anything to eat this spring. And it’s what makes it so hard to write.

I know there is so much more to be done than making sure the onions get into the ground in a timely manner. But I also know that I am most equipped to write about our community, and our land, and food. And that is probably what I will continue to write about, even if it sometimes feels like fiddling while Rome is burning. I don’t know. I’ll probably still publish those four posts about privilege and farming. In the meantime, it’s finally sunny, and I’ve got work to do.

4 Responses

  1. Rebecca

    You do wonderful, beautiful, important work and I’m so proud to know you! Your life is a form of resistance, more people need to do what you do.

  2. There is a lot to respond to here, but for now I will only respond to the bit that made me think of this post about “beautiful” homes versus working homes:

    • fishinthewater

      That’s a lovely piece. Yes I have noticed a sharp difference between the people I have over that induce a cleaning frenzy vs the people I have over that I’m like, yeah, they get it. I canned tomatoes last night and there is tomato juice on EVERY surface. Or, it’s spring and it’s muddy in the garden and there is no plausible way I am keeping the floors clean between boots and dogs. Or, I could go on forever. We live here.

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