Shortgrass: last day (aka the end of the world as we know it)

boring pastels As the sun set tonight over the prairie in what Paul Gruchow lovingly describes as "boring pastels," so too did it set on my time here at Shortgrass. We will pack up and head out in the morning.

I have to keep telling myself that I did what I set out to do: I read and knit and walked and wrote. In that order. There is this compulsion to grade myself down for not writing more. But I'll fight it. It was a good week.

Today was beautiful and sunny. On my walk I saw a bird I couldn't identify, even with my new travel binoculars. (I am going to New Zealand in a WEEK!) And I scared what I believe was the exact same jackrabbit I saw earlier in the week. I finished up the rock collection.

I also started the gorgeous meditation, Journal of a Prairie Year, by Paul Gruchow. It is impossible not to make comparisons both to Sand County Almanac and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, not just because of the subject matter, but the seasonal format as well, so I'll get that out of the way. Gruchow's voice is more tentative than either Leopold or Dillard's however. I think tentative is the right word. He's trying to figure out what matters most; there's investigation in the piece along with the sharp and eloquent observation.

I've only gotten through most of "Winter" so far, so that's all I can really say about it.

The sweater still needs sleeves.

I'm glad I got to do this, not just because it practically prepares me for what a residency might be like, but I'm certain, too, that I will arrive at some understanding about my writing process and its hangups after the experience has settled in my mind a bit.

And finally, I waited to write my one required deliverable until the last minute (1k out of 2.6k done as we speak). Because that is unfortunately how I roll. So, I am going to get back to scrambling, just in case we really are all still here tomorrow.

Again, weed