Though it’s supposed to rain here for the next 10 days, all I think about after work is planting. I know I have farming ancestors (actually, so do we all), but there’s something more to this compulsion. Gardening is definitely an antidote of a special kind to the pressures of modern business life. It’s physical, that’s the main thing for me, and wordless. Others no doubt find it satisfying because it’s creative, and I do love the textures and colors of the things I’m planting. But my work life is quite creative, too, so it’s not just that. Surely it’s the fact that working on a computer–even if writing–is bloodless, lifeless. Maybe that’s what will keep print books alive for as love as we still have arms strong enough to hold them (looking at some of today’s kids, I wonder how long that will be).

On Saturday, I went to the garden day at the Catskill Native Nursery, which has to be the most wonderful nursery in New England. It’s a small place, on a little road in an out of the way spot in the Catskills. I know about it only through the good fortune of the fact that my father-in-law has a little house nearby. It’s run by people who know their plants, birds, and butterflies, and who have an array of trees, shrubs, and perennials that far outdoes anything available here in Great Barrington (which is becoming, someone told me last week, “the Hamptons with hills).

karen christensen's corona typewriter on t s eliot's desk

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