Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A bee's eye view

It's so cold and it's making me grouchy. Whatever air mass is sitting over WI right now is seriously disrupting an otherwise pleasant start to summer. Today it feels like a mild day in March which would be so welcome in March. July 1st, not so much.

This morning I volunteered at our local community center. The center literally hums when people are in it, and with the energy and purpose of a beehive it occurs to me. Everybody seems to be chaotically moving in different directions with different tasks, staff communicating with quick, almost shorthand interactions and then heading in different directions once again. In their chairs, out of their chairs, disrupted constantly by immediate needs of those who access the center. Momentarily pulls staff members off task and then they're right back to their work only to be interrupted again and again. Everyone's moving with a common purpose, helping our community and its people to grow and thrive. I was a happy drone in the midst of it all.

I've long held a fantasy of being a secretary as I think I would be very good at bossing someone around under the auspices of working for them and making myself officiously indispensable. My volunteerism was delightfully secretarial today, plugging in data on a spreadsheet while the center buzzed around me. It's a lively center, informal and chatty and entirely chill. I love being surrounded by the activity without having to respond to it or be responsible to anything but my little spreadsheet. Feeling part of something without responsibility for its overall operation. Data entry. Peaceful.

Unlike the second part of my day full of machinations and schemes trying to fact find and organize four women from four different cities getting together for a short vacation later this summer. Herding cats I tell you.

Time for some wine while admiring some shots of my beautiful garden from a bee's eye view.

Ok, well, these I bought.


  1. Good luck with the cat-herding...

    I love the photograph of the tree at the top of your page - what kind of tree is it, and where is it? It's amazing.

  2. That tree sits at the edge of the park in London where the Princess Diana memorial fountain is. I can't remember which park that is, but that tree is near the entrance where there are giant gates and guarding lions and things grand like that. I'm sure you know, Sarah. It is an amazing tree. Kids didn't want to go under because they thought the tree would eat them.

  3. I know what you mean about the peacefulness of data entry while all around you is the hubbub of volunteer spirit with less peaceful tasks. Today at City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's re-election campaign office, I dutifully vetted voter signatures (even incumbants have to get 900 people to sign a petition to put them on the ballot) while others argued over where and when to canvass the streets to get more signers. They were complaining about the heat and humidity, those 20-year-olds with excess energy, and at 3pm I wished them good luck getting signatures in the pouring rain at 5pm. They looked at me like I am OLD and said, "Looks pretty sunny out there--what are you, the official campaign meteorologist?" laughing at their own skepto-sarcasm. I quietly ignored them, staring at the database grid on my computer screen, but in my head, I yelled at them, "I HAVE BEEN ALIVE ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH FOR 44 MUTHA-F***ING YEARS. I THINK I KNOW WHEN IT'S GOING TO RAIN." I am old.

    I left the office at 4:20pm, did my errands, and was home writing poetry at 5pm when the skies grew so dark the streetlights came on, and all around NYC District 3, soaking wet Quinn Petitioners solicited nary a legible signature until 6:30pm.

    It's good to be old.