Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fig in winter


I bought the fig in 2007, from a stall at the Union Square Farmer's Market. The fig had no name. I repotted it that July from its little plastic container into this fiberglass pot made by Capital Garden Products, and I must root prune it again, as I did last year, if I want it to remain in its current residence.

I, too, must be root pruned if I am to remain in my  current residence. It is not big, and one's ideas keep growing.

The fig overwintered on the barbecue. Or braai. The thing in which fire is made.

Last night, walking in DUMBO, beside the silent East River at low tide, we saw the space station pass overhead, crossing high above the Manhattan Bridge, north-northeast like a fat, unwinking star. The last time we saw it, pursued by the shuttle, was in the Eastern Free State, above our green grass camp site and rugged red cliffs. Both times it seemed miraculous and beautiful.

And I think, We have no business being on this planet.

In an exasperated mood (phone calls can do that), I needed to walk in the cold, sub-freezing evening, out from the apartment, towards the Promenade, the park at Pier One, beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, which is being repaired to the tune of 5 million dollars, to the park between the bridges, where I pick June berries in summer, then into DUMBO, the massive feet of the Manhattan Bridge dominating the cobble stones, the yellow lights of night reiterating that I love this city in the dark, and on towards Vinegar Hill, where my nose was leading me, for a drink and then supper: canneloni stuffed with lamb, fennel and currants, bitching waitresses back of house, a silky chicken liver mousse, my husband opposite me, smiling as he did in dreams.

Funny life.

Summer will come, with figs, and abundance, and humidity and inevitabilities. Perhaps it is the point before change, that is the most testing.

On the walk back to Cobble Hill, a mardi gras band played in the black street, icicles hanging from doorways, the musicians in coats and mittens, the music raucous underneath the roar of the overhead subway, passing into Manhattan on the tracks high above DUMBO.
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