I’ve been in the garden early this year. Today, the 29th of April as I write, Husband was able to fix the push mower’s cable and start it up. He mowed the small triangle patch near the road. The milkweed grows on one end. We checked; it hasn’t come up as of yet. When it does, we’ll fence it off.
The corner neighbors are on at least their second mow; we’re trying the “tickle method” of gardening this year. I have found great satisfaction in using the new claw tool to pull out roots that measure two feet or more. If they were deeper, I might resort to a pickax and use it as a Moby Dick metaphor in an essay, but I start those, let them peter out, stop writing my truth by starting to consider an audience. So how are you? Have you pulled weeds recently? Gotten dirt under your fingernails?
Another reason my essays wait to be written is because things come up – or in this instance, down. I went shopping on Friday with goals: Barnes and Noble to buy Alice Hoffman’s “Practical Magic” and cancel my “new and improved” membership before it began. Wegman’s for food, to check certain garden centers for flowers and Roma tomato plants, stop in at the leather shop. I did those things and came home to this:
It’s 7 feet 8 inches around to the left, 5 ft. 10 near the eye.
The way it came down was miraculous. The damage was limited. Since it happened when we were not here, we wonder if Whitney – a woodworker even in another realm – guided it down. We thank all the friends, relatives, spirits and deities involved in this predicament which isn’t exactly the greatest news, but also not the worst.
Reality has jarringly changed though. There’s a dragon eye staring at me as I prepare food in the kitchen. It distracts every time I see it. I sometimes thought spider webs would be reminders to get back to work on the Lettie novel. Before I left that afternoon, I was thinking of giving up on the current thing I’ve been working on. A reptilian tree knot stares at me in repudiation or encouragement – I can’t decide which and it never blinks as a tell, so I flounder for an answer.
What difference does what – or if – I write matter? At the end of the world or one’s life, is it more important to have read and learned, or produced? Are a million flashes the equivalent of one novel or three? If a poem by a no-name goes viral, does it cheapen an MFA degree? At what point do you write to the New Yorker inquiring about a story you sent in at the end of November? Yes, the auto-response says declare it dead after 90 days, but according to Duotrope it has taken longer. What is the point of the dream of being a writer if you don’t kid yourself into thinking fairy tales can come true and sometimes its in the form of how cottonwoods fall down with the maple tree working in tandem with the other smaller trees and roots to soften the blow to the roof which is a real life happily ever after story and that happened, so why not my story appearing in The New Yorker?
I blinked, losing the staring contest, but not the argument. So say I.
I’m on the cusp of having a print publication being launched soon and I am thrilled to be a part of The Jarnal. (Go to this link to listen to me read “The Thinnest of Veneers” which appeared in Milk Candy Review. MANY thanks to Jim Tuttle for doing an amazing job with the audio!)) And surprise of all surprises – I have an acceptance for a poem – during poetry month, which is quite cool. Thank you to Donnie Secreast & Adam Gnuse at Artemis Journal for accepting “The Rushed Meditation”
~ It’s a drizzly Sunday here and the roof isn’t leaking. The tree services have arrived and given us quotes. We’re off to the world of dealing with an insurance company and contractors. I should write a story where the experience is quick and painless and people smile the whole time work is being done on a house. It’d be fiction, of course. I haven’t read many people being happy about renovations and it’ll be years before it will be funny, or maybe that’s just my way of avoiding another novel being written in vain, one where butterflies turn into whales and burn up while sailing into the sun.
Cheers and Salute. Thanks for stopping by and for the read
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