on soil, on digging.

If my heart is the soil, and my work is the roots, the dirt is not ready for the deep. If my art is a well the well feels dry. I am not a good gardener. Never have been. I am sporadic, I am nomadic. I ferociously attack a project, the next day I have no heart for it. I will paint ten canvases and then leave the paint to dry on my brush for weeks. I am too quickly discouraged when I do not see growth. I am easily discouraged by looking at the surrounding earth, the well-trimmed peonies, the thriving vines, the perfect roses in red and flush.

This garden needs work. The soil is cracked and parched. The ground needs to be overturned, turned again. Horse and plow to walk each row. Hours of holding the clay in hand and whispering it back to life. Thankless hours of weeding and pulling, sowing deep, hiding seeds in the dark.

There is a long time in spring, of pouring over the fields, and it just looks like dirt. You toil and sweat, your hands crack from holding tools for weeks, and then you sit and wait. And you are in constant question of whether or not your work with bring forward any fruit, a sprig or leaf at all -

I am thirsting for a time of hours pouring over books and words, re-writing old poems into my journal, saying, "these are my words. They say how I feel," but right now writing makes me tired. Phrases feel weak and empty. My guitar feels like a heavy oak to try to lift and find a song. I kept my books closed for a long time, and I am weary and out of breath after just a short time.

And yet.

I am trying. I remember that feeling, I crave for it again, when words are fluid and constant, and I want to do the work. My journal feels childish, and my days feel small, "this is what I did today and this is how I feel about it." The sheepish, yet triumphant, of the simplest joys - the sun on my back, returning from winter's long slumber; late night bike rides home from work, the comfort of the clicking and rattling of the old thing, the silence of the city streets in the dewy morning hours; making plans again; going to sleep, not held, but with the return of peace; mornings to myself and practicing being still; working my body and making it strong [lean would also be nice].

May you know, dear friends, all of these feelings are good ones. Though daunting I feel alive again, I feel like I am returning to the earth and to the truth of the land, finding the honesty of the hard work, returning to sharing with the dear ones, being open and honest. I find such comfort in thinking of the farmer in his field, the long process of building and reaping a crop; the slow reward. The patient days of grooming and digging. I am learning and feel alive, very much alive, with this late return of spring.

Posted on May 23, 2011 and filed under writing-.