Bad Mood On Good Morning

This summer I recorded one day in photographs. I didn't capture the early morning, which I spent writing. I made this record because I was in a bad mood, and I was looking for a way to get out of my bad mood, and I didn't know what else to do. Bad moods are without reason--they're all our troubles rolled together: my mother's death, my brother's inability to find what he wants in his life, my dad's isolation, my kids' anxieties, my... --anything but just me.

Here's how I spent my summer day.

I headed out to work in the woodshop--the small building between the church and the barn.

To begin. The back porch looking toward the workshop, where I am headed. To work.

The wooden path, which turns.

The vegetable garden--

where I stop to look back, toward our empty house. Or not empty, as the dogs are asleep in the kitchen. In the garden, low and dead center, is our fig tree.

On the wooden path, past the elderberry,

the chickens come running. Did I give them a scoop of scratch grains?

In the canyon behind the workshop, the gravel reminds me of fieldstones to be set. The rabbit hutch always makes me miss Francis.

There's an orderly pile of rocks outside the workshop,

but the inside isn't always a mess. Only now I don't clean because

there's a chisel, a mallet, a cherry board to dovetail. It feels nice, the wood. The tools in my hands. The way I'm learning what I'm doing, slowly.

When my arms tire, I walk the dogs until my legs are sore. We're out far enough that we don't need leashes. Farm country.

This is Little Tree, this black one.

This is Fisher Peach Raspberry, this gold one.

This is our Pennsylvanian life.

Everything is going to be okay.

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