Notes On Attention Paid

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First Thoughts

… this morning, minutes after waking up, i remember that i forgot the chickens last night… what is it about habitual practices that sail along successfully for months and then boom, you forget?… i almost never forget the chickens, but then, i hit a day that has me otherwise engaged in a concentrated way at the time for chicken care, and i forget… i am hoping that E noticed and put them to bed… if not, then they were exposed to predation all night… sigh… i let the chickens down… i let E and B down… they will forgive me, they have before… still, i am upset with myself… not as much as the first time it happened, but enough to color the day in an unhappy way… i just hope E saw it and if he didn’t, they all made it through the night…

… apart from forgetting the chickens it was a good day yesterday… spent puttering around the house getting things done… cooking breakfast, harvesting herbs, plucking off all the leaves and putting them in the drying rack… we will have a lot of sage, thyme and oregano for the winter… more than we will use, maybe i can give some of it away…

… also did the laundry, all folded and put away… it was the folding and putting away of the laundry that occupied my thoughts when i should have been tending to the chickens…

… i made us a nice dinner, celery risotto with mutton-merguez1 sausages… a nice wine to go with it…

… then i read more of The Haunting of Hill House out loud to H… we are making good progress… by the time i am done it was time for bed… how is it i don’t think about the chickens once?…

… Main Street was nuts yesterday… lots of weekend escapers… we’ve become a destination town for weekenders looking for something to do… i complained to M in the wine shop, noticing how empty their store was and wondering how it was escaping the hordes… they said large groups will come in intermittently… the reason i complain about the weekenders is COVID… i don’t like being in a sea of random humanity during the pandemic… may never view that sea the same again because of the pandemic… i suppose i should just get used to wearing a mask on the street as well as in the store…

… we humans love to put things together into an ordered whole… then it’s the maintenance of that whole that brings us to our knees from time to time… too much to do to keep it together unless we hire others to do the keeping of it together…

… i like the work of maintaining the house and our lives, but there is an endless list of things that need doing… longer than i will ever get to… we do the most important things on the list and let the universe do what it will with the things that don’t make it to the top… of course, when the universe does what it does, which is usually an entropic deterioration of what has been put together, things move to become priorities that were not before…

… today we have an apology to deliver to E and B, a morning walk, breakfast, the farmer’s market, family zoom meeting, vacuuming, moping the kitchen, washing bed linens, perhaps some clean up in the garden… i would like to get better at keeping the garden neat and tidy…


  1. I looked up the spelling of Merguez and in the process find that it is a red, spicy mutton or beef based sausage associated with Maghrebi cuisine. Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. [return]