So I decided to slow it down this week by finding some deliberate, productive distractions. If anything can take away from the compulsive need to work on a big project, surely it is to throw other, smaller projects into the mix. Accordingly, among other things that I have worked on this past week or so, I have finally finished this painting of the Proboscidea louisianica that a neighbor found and transplanted for me this summer while I was laid up from surgery:
I also went looking for a typewriter I could use to document this project, and found this one, a 1948 Royal Quiet DeLuxe, in a junk shop masquerading as an antique store. It was in terrible, terrible condition—covered in rust, dust, spilled coffee, and seventy years of tobacco tar. All the keys were sticking, and two wouldn’t budge even a bit, and I was not at all sure I could get it up and running again. It was daunting to think about. Still, the price was right, and I do love a good project. It took a lot of patience, elbow grease, and helpful advice from antique typewriters aficionados on Facebook, but it is now a dream machine. Here are the before and after photos:
As it turns out, the evolution of spinnable cotton is more fascinating than I knew, and this plant, one of the few specimens in the world, exists in a greenhouse right here in the 806, where it is tended by a loving team of workers. I’ll do a separate post on it at a later date, but I am really, really thrilled to be working on this. It feels important, you know?
In the meantime, finding all these productive distractions has enabled me to be much more deliberate in Maggie’s cabinet work, and I have spent the afternoon wearing a respirator, applying finish, and listening the sandhill cranes as they fly overhead. It is a good day.