Thursday, July 08, 2004

Trees and Sailors

George is a champion among the civic-minded. It's his day off, and he just trotted up the street with a wheelbarrow. His mission: to distribute mulch around the trees in our public park. George has also been known to rise at 4 a.m. to give the grass around those trees a surreptitious trim. He does this to save the trees from the park's summer workers, whose careless edgers otherwise slash the bark, exposing the trees to infection.

Meanwhile, I am feeling particularly useless today. You could call this a day of uncertainty. A day of injury. A day of funk (in the bad sense).

Technically, I am lucky. And, most of the time, I can keep perspective on that fact. Being a trailing spouse is not a tragedy. A more open-hearted person might even embrace it.

But, in this Year of Too-Many (slights, rejections, set-backs, exploitations), sometimes it can feel like an indignity. A mood rolls in like heartless summer squall, ravaging the boat of my hopes. (As in that Dar Williams’ song, the ocean gloats:“I bludgeoned your sailors. I spat out their keepsakes.”) The boat endures, buoyed by rage or stupidity, I don't know. I should lash myself to the deck. Instead, I lash out at Adam and at my own sorry self.

And then—if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor—we quietly bleed, just like those trees in the park.


At 3:08 PM, Blogger Benedict said...

From one vassal to another, rejections and exploitations abound. Today a senior librarian told me that this was the first year profits completely outstripped wages.

Trickle down, indeed.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Technically, in a lot of workplaces, profits are supposed to outstrip wages, right? But what kind of "profits" is a not-for-profit university library reaping? And from what source? Am I missing something here?

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Benedict said...

I believe she was talking about the way profits reaped by the top 4 percent outstrip that of all other wage earners (those who do the work) combined.


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