“,,,saying, 'You must be the mermaid
Who took Neptune for a ride.'
But she smiled at me so sadly
That my anger straightway died.
If music be the food of love
Then laughter is its queen
And likewise if behind is front
Then dirt in truth is clean,,,”
- Keith Reid, Procol Harum, “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (1995?)
My refrigerator is, indeed, in my computer room. The first picture is the view behind me, from the computer keyboard looking into the kitchen. The picture doesn't show that the refrigerator in the right foreground is on the good oriental rug. My kitchen floor is being tiled. The two layers of 50+ year-old linoleum are gone, except, that is, for the coating of fine white dust left on every surface in the house. This whole process began when we discovered mold beneath the kitchen sink – a sign that water had been leaking beneath the linoleum for a long time.
Our “kitchen” is now the dining room table where the coffee pots and microwave are. Since the nearest water source is the laundry room, things are a bit disorganized, with dirty spoons and dishes sitting on table to my right in the computer room, next to unpacked groceries.
To make my morning coffee, I have to wash my mug in the laundry room, go to the computer room and open the frige for cream, then return to the dining room to the espresso machine. I have to go the long way around this circle because the kitchen is off limits. I also have to endure the extremely vocal protestations of my (just a tiny bit spoiled) cat who is barred from the back of the house because the patio door remains wide open when the contractor is here. This means every circuit is accompanied by a juggling act to keep the cat from darting between my legs to the relative freedom of the back yard.
My backyard sprinkler system that automatically waters early each morning is also turned off because the patio beyond the computer room has become a workshop. The wide-open door permits dust and flies complete access. The second Japanese maple may now be beyond saving. There it is, at the left of the last picture - a blur of dusty brown leaves. the first maple was probably already doomed before the work began.
My plants need water. My parched soul needs order, neatness, cleanliness. This is a difficult time. It’s not like I’m starving or anything, but I am thirsting for order.
Someday I’ll get back to the yard. I’ll clean up the dead and dying trees and replant the tsukubai with dichondra. I’ll find a neat, quiet, dust-free place to let my soul find some peace.
Meanwhile, as I sit at the computer, the last picture is my outside view, through the parched and dusty chaos of the contractor's temporary workshop. I have to keep believing that dirt in truth is clean.