Friday, July 31, 2015

Checking In

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This last week, I weeded my front yard. My current projects are both secret and all-consuming - work that somehow makes me exhausted and furious and intensely fulfilled at the same time, work that has kept me frustratingly absent from this space - but in between the long days and late nights, I've been driven outside. Mostly to chisel dead grass from the cracks in the sidewalk, but also to get to know this little piece of land around our home.

So lately, the internet, the local nursery, and the neighborhood landscape have been my guide to the unfamiliar language of plants: the cost of a palm; the proper plants for shade; the name of the climbing vine that has taken over the front fence. The neighbor gives us a bag of ripe figs in a brown paper bag and they spoil on our kitchen counter in a day or two. Each day the climbing rose shakes loose a fresh carpet of petals to rot on our front step, and each night the neighbor's cat comes by and uproots our little yellow decorative cactus from its pot. It occurs to me that there is a deep and stubborn wilderness to even the most cultivated of land.

And yet, there is a satisfaction in putting things in order: trimming the hedge, sweeping the sidewalk, pulling the bindweed from the side yard. No matter what I do, entropy will continue its slow-growing sprawl across this particular patch of earth, but perhaps that's the charm of it: the constant growth and re-imagining of space; the reminder of a world untamed by human laws and structures. The opportunity to shape something beautiful from that wilderness, if only for a moment.

Happy Friday, friends.

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