Amateur lichenology.

The slow process of over-accreting, which for me has always been and--despite my longing for greater speed--continues to be a crucial stage of writing, has been going on today, though now I'm well on my way to arranging what I've already gathered, trying to find the places where my ideas want to rustle with one another. I find myself facing the same problems as my subjects, which is a sign either promising or worrisome, or both. That is to say: they went out seeking to produce intimacy, closeness, liveliness itself, all with textual matter, because that's all they had left; I have gone out seeking the things they made, and how they made them, and what I fear most is the further loss of life that will be occasioned when I transfer all the unruliness in my head into the neatness of my marks on a page. I do not want to fail these people, these worthy written dead. And I vacillate between believing that I should complete this project as quickly as possible, so as to get on to the next project, and believing that I should do this work the way I believe it should be done--which might just be a trick I'm playing on myself to justify not moving more swiftly, not forcing some new words out every single day.

As the day wore on, I realized I needed a walk. I skipped my walk yesterday, knowing that I would be walking into town for dinner and the play. (That walk taught me that yes, my high-heeled boots are good for that walk through lane and over cobble and bridge.) I started to think about skipping my walk today--and knew that that was the clearest sign I'd yet gotten that I needed the walk in the first place.

I crossed Clare Bridge, which I love. Now that I have my macrolevel understanding of Cambridge settled, I'm dialing in the microlevel, which today meant the Clare Bridge's lichen. Lichen here is omnipresent, formidable. Coming back from Coton two days ago, my friend and I stumbled into a clearing (right after we saw the llamas) where a small tree was half-covered in yellow lichen. And I didn't take its picture. Which, I suppose, is why it's good that I'm going to the beach by myself this weekend.