8.2.13 At Liberty

George brainerd 790 xxx
photo by george b. brained
August is here and so I bid you farewell as I embark on my annual semi-retreat from the internet. Five weeks! Of course I've got a list of projects as long as my arm—pickling okra, making jam, a whole stack of clothes to dye, a short story to write, a new segment on our local radio station WJFF and something with which I need your help. Something very near and dear to my heart. This blog launched in 2010 and I have gradually built a small but choice following, for which I am very grateful. The thing is, I can't help wondering why my work doesn't engage the sort of wider audience that seems to flock elsewhere in droves. So I would really like to know how this blog might serve you better. More of this? Less of that? To find out what you like best and what new terrain I should explore, I'm putting together a survey that I'll be sending out to subscribers. If you haven't yet subscribed, please do so by simply entering your email address at the very top of the site next to the heart. (While you're at it, you can also connect with me on Facebook; Instagram - @laurasilverman; and Twitter - @glutton4life) Guess how I'll be luring you into participating?
Boating2 790 xxx
smooth sailing
Everyone who completes the survey will be eligible to win a big box stuffed with preserves, fruit leather, flavored salts, tea and who knows what else, all made with love from your very own glutton. So check your inbox in the next couple of weeks!

In the meantime, I leave you with...

Links for some of my favorite summer recipes (and don't forget to use the archive to find others!):

A refreshing hibiscus cooler
The salad of the summer
What to do with all that zucchini
The ultimate corn pudding
Get your grill on
A stunning sorbet

And this poem...

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond 
by Mary Oliver

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself--
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn't a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

And, finally, dear reader, my warmest wishes for a beautiful month of August, full of cold, firm cherries and porch swings and the sounds of children splashing in pools and sweet corn drenched in butter and fresh air on bare skin and ice clinking in glasses and your feet up for a good long spell! xo


enjoy your break laura!
jen on August 2, 2013 at 9:52 am —
Adieu for now...!
Prairie on August 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm —
Ciao! I'm off on an adventure too--far away from internet I fear :)
Elaine on August 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm —
...and don't forget to read, read, read - all those lovely books you have piled up at your bedside...
judy on August 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm —
I will be happy to respond to your questionnaire, but I would not fret about not having big numbers. Yours is one of the very few blogs that I subscribe to through feedly where I read all your words. Now about the clothes dying. I really want to hear about that. Any indigo by any chance?
Christine on August 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm —
Oh my, we share a love of Mary Oliver, too? You and I are sisters with different mothers, Laura. I wish you the most lovely time away. xo
cathy on August 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm —
Ooooh, YOUR August sounds so lovely! Enjoy. I like the cold firm cherries business. I will enjoy them on a sweltering summer evening up on the roof, shooting the pits from a straw at the bridge and tunnel crowd below. Oh, along with melting ice diluting my wine in a plastic go-cup. Hot town, summer in the city...
Jan on August 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm —
I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I find it beautiful and calming. I subscribe to it through 'Bloglovin' not by email so perhaps you have readers you are not aware of. Have a lovely break.
Amanda Taylor on August 4, 2013 at 1:37 am —
Lovely long post Laura..and with it have a relaxed revivifying time off. All best, will miss your delicious! words of wisdom. Julie/Glen Spey
Julie Gross on August 5, 2013 at 7:05 pm —
Oh brought me back from England to those long American summers....... thank you!
Kristin on August 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm —
The older I get the more I realise how important a summer break is. I vanish now for 6 weeks to my summer cottage on a remote island in the Finnish archepelago and return to working life completely refreshed. Enjoy your break - you've earnt it!
david miller on August 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm —