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Rochelle Sits

Rochelle W.'s picture

Last One

The backyard of the English house was covered in a thin layer of fog, on Saturday morning. The majority of the trees were completely bare of their leaves. The small tree with shiny leaves still had all of its leaves, they seemed to be more green than ever in the midst of the grey fog and the brown branches that surrounded it. The vines that hugged some of the trees was still alive and green. This was my last site sit and everything was damp and sad. I was slightly saddened by the fact that this was to be my last site sit (although it did not have to be, I can go back to the Backyard of the English house anytime I please, really). I would like to think that everything behind the English House was saddened by this fact as well, and that they would miss semi-scheduled presence.  Everything sure did look pretty sad back there. The grass was more droopy than usual, the trees hid themselves in fog, and everything was damp. But perhaps I’m just being self centered.

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A Tame Yard

It was cold behind the English House this morning. I could feel it mostly on the tips of my body. The leaves on the trees and the ones on the ground were not as colorful as they were last time. It was not as hard to take it all in. Everything seemed a bit more dull. The leaves were not falling as quickly as they were last time, probably because there were not as many that needed to fall. I sat on the little wooden stool this time instead of on the ground. As I looked out over the yard I considered whether or not it was a wild place. Wild like a human mother who embraces her inner mother bear, and who is not afraid to rise to anger, or settle into intense love. I decided that it wasn’t. Because I think if the back yard of the English House had a choice it would not grow that way it’s growing now. It wouldn’t be so neat. Now it’s  tame yard, similar to a woman who has been taught that it’s not feminine to show aggression. But for the yard, I think that’s okay.

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The House Matters Too

It’s a beautiful day today. The sun is warm and the sky is clear. I am very happy to be outside.

The trees behind the English house don’t discriminate among themselves by class, gender, race or sex (or if they do I can’t tell). The trees probably have some sense of sex difference among themselves, but I’m not sure if they have any sense of the meaning of class gender or race. These words probably don't mean much to the trees (most likely for the better). But the English House itself signifies wealth and higher class. Mostly because of what goes on inside of it -- students learning and professors teaching and working. College in this country is not something that is limited to people of a higher class, but is a place that is harder for people of a lower class to get to. This means that the people around the backyard of the English house would usually be a part of the upper middle class. It isn’t the trees themselves that make race gender and class significant, it’s this people who surround the trees, and the perceptions of those people.

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Seeing Mosaics

The changed leaves covered the gorund and it looked like a mosaic. The individual leaves themselves were like small mosaics. It was hard for my eyes to take it all in. It was suppriging to see how much the back yard of the English had changed since I was there last. It is similar to a growing changing preson, but more repeative I guess. When the wind blew the leaves let go of their branches and sky dived to the ground (brave leaves), only to be crushed back into the earth under my feet -- eventually re-entering the tree in a different form. The sky was grey. The ai felt nice, and it smelled nice also. I was surprised at how upset I was when  found that the ferns were brown and droopy and dead.

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A Nodding Buck

I went to the English house in the morning this time and I felt more exposed than I usually do. There were professors coming into the parking lot in their cars, and I could hear people walking to and from the Russian house which usually does not happen in the evening. When I entered the backyard of the English house a squirrel scrambled back and forth and back and forth for cover. I suggested that she(?) should calm down, she didn’t listen, but ran it into the woods and up a tree. I sat in the damp grass because it felt like the right thing to do. I faced out towards the woods (it’s interesting that I never sit facing the English House). Bees bounced through the vine covered tree and in the grass. Squirrels bravely leapt. Birds took off and landed. Sunlight streamed gracefully through the trees. Cotton ball white clouds floated easily across the sky-blue sky covers everything. While leaning back and looking up I saw movement from the corner of my eye. I thought it was another squirrel, I Iooked down and saw that it was a buck walking across the opening to the woods. I gasped quietly, and it nodded at me. I laughed and it nodded again before walking off.

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Attending To My Environment

The air feels like the snap of a pea, or a sharp knife going straight through a head of iceberg lettuce this evening. The longer I stay inside of if the more I enjoy it. The bees are not here anymore. Maybe they are finished with the tree wearing the coat of vines, or maybe they don't like the cut of the knife. Without the bees, and without the breeze the backyard of the English House is much more still than it was last week. Except for the trees shedding death. Also, I am much taller than I was last week. Standing on one of the long benches beside the picnic table I try and face the trees without arching my neck backward. But although I am taller today, there is still an arch in my neck.

When I came to the backyard of the English House today I didn't feel very much like attending to my environment, I felt more like attending to myself. I kept looking at the ground and only thinking about me. But I was aware I was doing this, so I made myself change, and by the end I was able to be more outwardly focused.

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Movement Surrounded in Sitllness

This morning at the English House I was drawn to the perimeter -- where the grass meets the woods, and the building. And I found today that what stood out to me were objects and bodies in motion. This was because mostly everything was still (except with the aid of this wind). So when something moved on it's own it caught my eye.

I encountered two eye catching events of movement.
First was the floating spinning leaf.

Spinning occured around, and around, and again. 

The second was a lot of bees. 

The bees surrounded the entire tree. 

Working up and down. Gathering and back again.

While I was walking around the perimeter of the backyard of the English house I was tempted to go into the woods. But I reminded myself that my place was in the backyard of the English house and not in the woods. I felt slightly stuck.

Cannot move out. 

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Going Temporarily Blind Behind the English House

Upon arrival in the backyard of the English house I assessed my seating options. The first option that caught my eye was a lightly colored jagged rock, which did not seem like the best option. Next I saw a stool, a lone bench, and a picnic table with one bench on either side. I sat one the lone bench without considering the grass or the stones embedded in the grass.

I didn’t really have a plan for my time here. So for a large portion of the time I sat and thought about what I should do. I felt like I needed an activity or an experiment to do so that I would be able to write my reflection thoughtfully.

So I came up with a plan: I would sit with my eyes closed. Vision seems to be the most prized of the five senses. It is the way I primarily and consciously analyze the the world around me on a daily basis. It’s the sense I used when I entered the space to analyze my sitting options. It’s my default sense. So to cut off vision would be to cut off the safety-net sense, and it would force me to analyze the world though a different lense.

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