Friday, June 10, 2011

Okay, it's been forever since I've blogged, I know. Christopher mentioned it to me last night. And a nice reader wrote in inquiring if everything was okay.

Everything is okay. Everything is in process: bodies, manuscripts, work life.

Begin again. It's not quite nine in the morning, gray soft fog blanketing everything, the early birds done with their singing and C off to one of his last few days at work. I'm here with my cup of coffee working on the poetry manuscript again and working my way through what I swear to God will be the final revision of The Recruiter.

We put in a garden a few weeks ago--we were late doing it, but it has rained all the way into the month of June here, unseasonably late, so I think we'll get away with it. If I were more techno-savvy, I would post pictures of our raised beds with the chicken-wire fence around them to keep the feral cats from using it as a litter box. We have lettuce and kale and sunflowers, all started from seed, and a pepper plant and a tomato plant, started from seedlings. Every morning and evening C hangs over the fence and gazes at the plants. First they appeared as tiny green stars in the black dirt--pounds and pounds of topsoil, lugged in huge bags from Costco. Now they are recognizably becoming something. In a few weeks we'll be making our salads with them.

My father is an avid and patient gardener. I have been a notorious neglecter of plants. So many pots of lavender, purchased with high hopes, set out on the front porch and forgot to water. So many fragrant corpses, returned to the compost bin. I have managed to keep my potted ficus alive for twenty years. And grown a huge fig tree from a small sapling--just a stick really--in our front yard, and a big fruitful persimmon, also from a tiny start.

I guess the metaphor here is with creative projects. Some of them flourish, some of them don't. Some seeds stubbornly refuse to even poke their heads above the soil, and you are left staring at a pot full of empty dirt. others are eaten by unknown pests who come in the night and nibble holes in their beautiful leaves. Some seem to grow almost independent of me, like those fruit trees--stick them in the ground, give them a little water when they're young, and they give fruit for years and years. I don't know how it works, not really. I just know that this is what I do; I tend the work. I witness it, I futz with it, I obsess over it, I neglect it and come back to it--I always come back. And not everything that I tend grows. There have been some heartbreaking disappointments. But in the end, I trust that if I keep coming back, something bears fruit. And I want to be around to savor it.


laurie said...

so glad you are back to blogging! good luck with your garden and with your creative projects - may they all live to bloom.

Susan Laird said...

Wonderful to see an update from you! We are out here in Brentwood selling u-pick cherries for my folks-teaching people from the Bay Area which ones are best to pick. Hope you have a bountiful harvest from your garden.

Andrea said...

i love spring. even though it is really (supposed to be) summer! happy growing, happy tending ... I"ll be doing the same soon.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see a new post from you.

I love reading about your garden. I think gardening mirrors all the incremental ways humans need to tend to themselves and one another. You can do all kinds of very little things to help a garden grow. You can do all kinds of very little things to love yourself and those around you. A perfect metaphor, a garden, gardening.


Anonymous said...

thanks for this post. i can now grow better, myself. welcome back, welcome back...