Overcoming Inertia

Spring in New England is always an adventure. Some years we go straight from sleet to beach days. Some years–like this one–we get weeks and weeks of cool, breezy-sunny-damp weather. Tulips and redbuds and dogwoods and lilac and fruit trees bloom at the same time. People with allergies are miserable. The world looks decked out for a party. You take a look around and realize that a winter of denning needs to be cleaned out, all on one sunny weekend. The world has pushed past winter’s inertia, taking the energy of months of rest and pouring it into growth. Dull roots, as T.S. Eliot observed, have been stirred with spring rain. It’s neither an easy nor a painless process, all this growing.

This is also the time of year people are in furious garden-planning mode. In some parts of the country there are already seedlings in the ground (and have been for months), but up here we can rarely get tomatoes out before June. Not that I’m one of those people. Even when I’ve had garden space, I haven’t been in town for long enough at a time to pursue a garden. Or, to be honest, even healthy houseplants. This year is a little different for me: I expect to be around the duration of the remaining spring, summer, and fall, for the most part, and I have a lovely deck with a southern exposure that seems designed for herbs and tomato pots. I’ve already, with the help of an extraordinarily green-thumbed father, put up containers of thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint and chervil. Basil and tomato seedlings are hanging out inside waiting for more sun.

All of this moving forward calls up questions for me about overcoming inertia–transforming the energy of a fallow period–in other areas of my life. Specifically, my writing. On this blog, it seems to be getting harder rather than easier as time goes by for me to find interesting things to write about in an interesting way. I’ve reached a plateau that required a great surge of energy to push forward. Sure, other things have been distracting me, like looking for work more reliable than my freelancing (it seems the opportunities that most interest me are ones that won’t pay my rent). But more than anything, I think, I’m still seeking a way to transform the inertia of thinking into the directed energy of doing. I’m hoping that the transformations around me will produce a similar effect within.

A more personal post than I’m used to putting up here, certainly. If you’ve read this far, you probably don’t mind–but I’ll try to get back to more pertinent posting soon. There’s a lot going on in the world of food and agriculture at the moment, although with agricultural enterprises also turning their energy to growing stuff, rather than to fighting for or against legislation, some aspects of this arena have slowed down a bit.

One thing that is happening is farmer’s market season! Over the next couple of weeks, Massachusetts markets will be opening all over the place. On the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets website you can sign up for reminders about your local market dates, look at details for the upcoming strawberry dessert festival, and you know, other cool stuff. I can’t wait to start enjoying the literal fruits of the transformations I see going on around me.

About Margaret

Margaret is a professional writer, editor, and marketer with a degree in Narrative Writing from Cornell University.
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4 Responses to Overcoming Inertia

  1. Eleanor says:

    I think many of us share the path you’re on, of trying to align our interests and values with our livelihoods. It’s a process–a long one, at that. As for writing about interesting things, you haven’t disappointed yet. Just keep your eyes and ears open, and you’ll stumble on something worth thinking about and sharing. Good luck with the seedlings!

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Eleanor! I admire the way you seem to have solved this dilemma on your own, and how beautifully you write about your personal experiences while making them relevant to the larger issues. I think once the sun comes out again–let’s hope, soon–I’ll start to push through this more effectively.

  2. Eleanor says:

    Oh, dear… I hope you’re not still under the weather! I look forward to an update soon about what you’re up to and thinking about.

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