That went on for the better part of an hour, and every time I snapped back awake my head would jerk, and I think I have partly undone my recent adjustment from the chiropractor. I finally woke up enough to return indoors and fire up the computer, so now I'm continuing the process... ((nod)) here. I might try playing some very loud YouTube videos. Maybe that will keep me awake. But most likely I will fall asleep watching television very early tonight. I guess I should eat something first. It will have to be something that won't come to harm, or harm me or the house, if I nod off while fixing it.
Thank goodness it's supposed to be about five degrees cooler tonight than it was last night, because last night was utter misery. And thank goodness it's supposed to be about ten degrees cooler tomorrow than it was today. Odds are I'll recover from the last couple of days and nights. But I'm not sure my neck will recover from all this... ((nod)).
R.I.P. Donald Hall (September 20, 1928 – June 23, 2018)
by Donald Hall((Nod))August, goldenrod blowing. We walk into the graveyard, to find my grandfather’s grave. Ten years ago I came here last, bringing marigolds from the round garden outside the kitchen. I didn’t know you then. We walk among carved names that go with photographs on top of the piano at the farm: Keneston, Wells, Fowler, Batchelder, Buck. We pause at the new grave of Grace Fenton, my grandfather’s sister. Last summer we called on her at the nursing home, eighty-seven, and nodding in a blue housedress. We cannot find my grandfather’s grave. Back at the house where no one lives, we potter and explore the back chamber where everything comes to rest: spinning wheels, pretty boxes, quilts, bottles, books, albums of postcards. Then with a flashlight we descend firm steps to the root cellar—black, cobwebby, huge, with dirt floors and fieldstone walls, and above the walls, holding the hewn sills of the house, enormous granite foundation stones. Past the empty bins for squash, apples, carrots, and potatoes, we discover the shelves for canning, a few pale pints of tomato left, and—what is this?—syrup, maple syrup in a quart jar, syrup my grandfather made twenty-five years ago for the last time. I remember coming to the farm in March in sugaring time, as a small boy. He carried the pails of sap, sixteen-quart buckets, dangling from each end of a wooden yoke that lay across his shoulders, and emptied them into a vat in the saphouse where fire burned day and night for a week. Now the saphouse tilts, nearly to the ground, like someone exhausted to the point of death, and next winter when snow piles three feet thick on the roofs of the cold farm, the saphouse will shudder and slide with the snow to the ground. Today we take my grandfather’s last quart of syrup upstairs, holding it gingerly, and we wash off twenty-five years of dirt, and we pull and pry the lid up, cutting the stiff, dried rubber gasket, and dip our fingers in, you and I both, and taste the sweetness, you for the first time, the sweetness preserved, of a dead man in the kitchen he left when his body slid like anyone’s into the ground.