No burning thoughts or issues tonight, but it’s probably good just to get the thoughts flowing. Ate first sweet corn tonight, and picked ripe tomatoes, more than I can use.
I don’t know why I’ve lost some level of interest in the garden. Partly I haven’t been out there much because of lack of time. And probably some of it is simply lowered excitement—there’s less to do out there now, more bug troubles. Planting and seeing sprouting seeds is the most fun, exciting. Nothing to do now except weed, water, and wait for ripe vegetables, excess vegetables we can’t use. And I did get kinda tired of salads, even though we didn’t eat all of our lettuce by any means.
I remember telling some people early in the season my biggest challenge of having a garden is seeing if I could stay interested in it season-long. That’s still the challenge, I suppose, though I haven’t given up on it. I just know now that for next year, I should plant smaller batches of each vegetable, so it doesn’t ripen all at once, and two, I need to do more work on protecting my plants from bugs, as well as spacing things out better and staking tomatoes up better.
Here’s an analogy: I’m quitting smoking again. Voice and lungs were getting tight and phlegmy, respectively, lately. And when I’m smoking a pack a day, I’m not really sure why I keep smoking after the first couple of the day. I never feel a buzz after first one or two. I just keep smoking them. Really for me, smoking more than anything else is something to do—take a break, go outside, think about things (get ledes for stories during those breaks), something to do while waiting somewhere or walking.
I thought about smoking today, but the need was never real strong today. The need is the feeling from my lungs that they’re empty, they need to have something in them, filled with smoke or tar or whatever. Never felt that today—spent most of the day coughing up phlegm. Lungs have been full lately.
What’s hard about quitting is just the thought that from now on, I will never smoke another cigarette. Like today—for a moment, just as we were packing up to go home, I thought to myself, I could smoke in a few minutes when we go outside— a reward of sorts?—then I realized: no smokes, and no smoking. It was just a background thought, the kinds of thinking you do when you smoke: where/when would be my next chance to smoke?
But for me now, as I write in notebook today, I’ve just got to think not about wouldn’t it be nice to smoke, or the good times I had smoking—not really, thought—can’t taste after a couple, anyway—or that I’ll never have another. What I’ve got to think of is my healthy body, being strong—clear, strong lungfuls of fresh air, something I felt almost ecstatic about when I experienced it today. Feels heavy, like a deep inhale, but it actually tastes good, light on the throat, empowering.
In a few weeks when my lungs don’t feel so bad, then smoking won’t seem so bad again. My lungs will be better, it’ll be easy to breathe normally.
I regret all the time I’ve smoked already—I’ve never really quit.
[From journal of Wed., 13 Aug. 1997, evening, Cinema Cafe, Urbana, 10:25, Journal 18, page 207-210]