I love projects, I have about sixteen on the go at the moment. Yes they are exhausting and yes it is a little sad when I consider that I will never finish them but they were so exciting in the beginning. There was the great project for an art piece for my sister’s kitchen, his and her wedding masks, the garden and all its many projects, the website design project, the fiction book, the eat healthy project, the get up early project, the walk to the beach every day project, the make a stick trellis for the raspberries project… until yesterday I thought it was just me. I’ve been reading (listening to) the book Happy by Derren Brown. The subtitle is, Why more or less everything is absolutely fine. Very uplifting. Derrren is the illusionist, magician guy from the telly and he’s very interesting. Anyways, it’s a long book and I’ve been reading (listening to) it on and off for months and yesterday he had started talking about death… yes, I know, interesting. He was saying, among other things, that humans love projects. All humans. So it’s completely natural that I love projects. Funny thought, lately, I have been falling out of love with my projects.
I get very excited when I think of a new project, I fall in love with it and fantasise about us walking together along a sandy beach into the sunset. It’s all very romantic. But just at the moment when the project becomes real, the love disappears, the sand becomes stony and there’s a thunderstorm. This is at the precise point where I have to jump into the unknown. Maybe I have to learn something new or share something stupid or risk looking ridiculous or I just don’t know what to do next. By that point I have committed and have to stay with the new project until death do us part. Very often I can’t wait for death to do us part. Now I think the problem is I commit to the project before having a good look at what exactly is involved. I will be more careful in future.
Like our blackbirds. I say OUR, they are in fact wild blackbirds but they do seem to be getting friendly. So, back when Eilish was still here, she and I researched home composting. Before I go any further let me be clear – the research was not in a scientific way… we searched on Youtube for a video about home composting. It was very interesting… and confusing. So in order to get started we stopped watching and summarised what we remembered (not a lot) from the fifteen videos we’d already watched and began home composting. This is a perfect example of a project.
We already had a compost bin but it was stuffed to the top with rose bush pruning that was not turning into compost. First step, empty the bin. Then start adding vegetable peelings, paper towels, grass clippings and leaves. Keep the bin uncovered. This did mess with the structural integrity of the bin but I found a bungie chord to sort that. Finally, add water regularly. Only a week had passed when Eilish spotted the first member of our blackbird family popping in for a nibble. Yes, popping into the compost bin to root around in our leftovers! Well, we thought it might be the leftovers but there were bugs in there too so maybe that’s what they were after.
Last Friday I was sitting in the garden sending a text to my mother, telling her about the blackbirds when one jumped up on the compost bin. Since I had my phone in my hand I turned on the video and watched him getting started on his own project. He stood on the edge of the bin for a long time looking in, looking around, looking back in again. He walked around the edge of the bin and nearly toppled a few times but fortunately he had wings to help him balance. He washed himself, got interested in other birds and possibly me filming him. Then after a very, very long time, four minutes and ten seconds to be precise… he jumped in. He’s right to be careful, there are a lot of dangers around but the compost probably smells irresistibly good.
From now on I’m not going to fall in love with the next irresistibly lovely smelling idea, I’m going to take my time looking into it and walking around it. I’ll tell myself I have plenty of projects, finish one of them first or better yet, finish them all.
Also, wouldn’t it be amazing to have a camera permanently mounted over the compost bin? We could watch the blackbirds when they are inside the bin and we could set up a live feed to a website and… NOoooooo! Danger danger, that’s a project luring me in, stay back! Have to go now, I think there’s a an old camera in the attic.
May you be well, Mairead.