Close space

If I were writing a novel about a woman at home in the morning in the country, I’d begin by describing the stillness. The woman would just have to open a door to change that, but she doesn’t because she feels cocooned by the quiet.  She’s reluctant to break the narrow space that is taken up by her plants on the windowsill and the long kitchen table, where her laptop sits on top of a pile of books so she won’t strain her neck. The laptop is this laptop, above it and outside the window is another tight view—this one of the hill that arcs across her field of vision. Not quite flattened, the scene that fills her kitchen windows has a limited depth by virtue of being framed by the window mullions. Sitting in the front row of this green theater are herbs in white pots: one with classical fluting like a pilaster stretched at six points, another molded like brick work, and another with widely spaced lines curving up to the rim and circles around its base.  They too are satisfying in their apparent completeness. These ordinary oddities, coiffed with basil, sage, and thyme, are exercises in control, defeated by the plants themselves as they persist on leaning toward the sun.

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