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OT-BIO: Celia Belle


From: "J. Michael, Celia or Ben Storey" <storey@aristotle.net>

Now that we have this brave new parallel world in which to spread our iris
fans, it occurs to me that we all could use some brave new parallel world
identities. For purposes of this alternate universe I am:

Celia Belle, an 84-year-old Guggenheim fiction fellow with a 15-acre estate
in the wilds of central Arkansas, a glass-handled cane and two Jack Russell
terriers named Stop That and Get Down. My companion, Adam Oble, teaches
biomechanics at the university. Oble plants his garden on the hills to the
west of our house; I plant mine among the creek and the pond to the east.
(We let north and south fend for themselves.) When I tire of my cascading
vines and fountainous blackberries, I can cross over into his severe
topiaries and herbal parterres. His herbs overhang retaining walls and
brush your fingers as you pass.

We have, of course, a great many irises. LA and water species cluster
around a natural pond in the east garden. Sometimes in the evening, when
the dogs lie dreaming after a day's antics, their stiff legs twitching
fitfully, I sit out on the swing and listen to the bullfrogs in chorus. I
think myself then the happiest old woman alive. In the mornings, there are
Oble's bearded irises to tend. He has 50 good TB cultivars, many medians
and rebloomers and 14 arilbreds, all integrated into his hillside terraces
and rock garden walkways. For afternoons, we have our vanishing wall o'
spurias. Now you see them, now you don't.

I am also a potter, and Oble has his little taxidermy shed. His favorite
mountings all feature armadillos. I don't know why.

celia b.
storey@aristotle.net
Little Rock b, Arkansas b, USDA Zone 7b b.



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