D is for Decay

Hello Friends,

I started this blog as a place to write. A place to start back down the road of creating story again. I wanted to have a place where I could relearn and redevelop my writing habits. I have stories I need to write and I have stories I don’t even know yet that I need to write and a blog seemed like a good place to start.

As I thought about what I wanted this place to look like, feel like, and be like I struggled a bit. Did I want to focus on cooking? I mean I love to cook. Everyone loves what I come up with.

Did I want to focus on fashion? Probably not. I have never felt confident in that area. I have struggled mightily there.

How about gardening? I have a huge garden and I am always experiencing triumphs and tribulations with the natural world that exists outside my study window.

No. None of those felt right. There are so many blogs out there where people are doing such an amazing job! The talent. The creativity. The dedication and the depth of story and view are clearly beyond my talent and scope.

So, I thought more about the core of me. The core of my writing. The place where I am, me. That place is dominated by a sense of impermanence and imperfection. There is a tension in that place.   Maybe it is in the acceptance that one finds grace. I struggle with accepting imperfection and impermanence. I want perfection. I want immortality. But it is in the flaws, the ripped seams, the faded blossoms that we find grace. It is in the mortality that we find value and meaning.  All things are fleeting and there is imperfection in everything we do. We are human and their are frayed edges to each of us. This is the meaning of wabisabi.

I have a garden that is almost a year round garden now with food growing through every season. I love living in an area where I can do that and I am taking full advantage.

So I started a compost this year. I have a large bin near my garden and not too far from my back door. Inside while I work out all the kinks of composting, I am using a huge clear glass apothecary jar to hold the bits and bats that come with eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. It is probably a three gallon jar with a clear glass lid that makes that satisfying cookie jar lid clanging noise when you close it. It sits next to my kitchen sink in front of a large bay window. I keep this jar very clean. You can see right through it and out the window to the garden.

As I drop my onion ends and orange peels and red pepper ends in to the jar it creates these layers. Right now there is a layer of lettuces left over from a salad. There are sections of coffee grounds from our morning coffees. There are egg shells from my son’s breakfast. There are all these layers and they represent our days. Our days pass and the layers grow. After about three days the jar is close to full and I can see that things towards the bottom are settling down into their respective places. Things are beginning to marry with each other.

I like the look of this. I like that the passage of time is so clearly laid bare right there in my kitchen. I see it every day. Every time I get a glass of water. Every time I wash a dish or pour myself another cup of coffee, I can see the physical manifestation of the passage of time.

No one else in the house has really embraced the “compost bucket” in quite the sweeping way that I have and that is okay. I know this is a part of me that plays out continually. Noting the passing of time. The shift in the light out the window that signals the days are getting longer. The buds on my lemon trees that promise more tea this fall. And that is okay. I can watch for these things for us. I can note the small changes and bring them here for us to talk about. I will be here whenever you want to join the conversation.

Love,
S

6 thoughts on “D is for Decay

  1. My grandmother used to keep a compost bucket in her kitchen in much the same way. All the compostable materials would find there way in there, and then into the larger compost out back in the garden. I always thought it was strange, at first, until I wanted my own compost, and was met with a wall of city restrictions and codes, and was dismayed into giving up the dream. :/

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  2. Aah composting. I have a love hate relationship with it. On one hand we’re forced to do it in San Francisco, and I can’t stand the smell when i dump the contents of the bucket into the compost can for pickup on Tuesdays. On the other hand my housemate’s garden is so lush and green from all the coffee grounds and used tea leaves we set aside!

    Doesn’t change the smell, though. 😉

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    • Yeah, I have to keep up with my inside container so it does not smell. Some items set it off a bit more. This week it was the cooked artichoke leavings. The batch before that was fine. Not a smell at all. Go figure!

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