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Monday, March 10, 2014

Gardener's Block vs. Writer's Block

I begin with a corner of Norma's kitchen counter. It is arranged according to tremendous operations in the universe. I am not to fiddle with it. I built the counter, the shelves over, the walls around, many years ago. But now I am only a disruption if I move something to get at something. It is progress.


My ancestors were seagoing people who adjusted grudgingly to progress, like advancement from thole pins to oarlocks. I do too. Consider alarm clocks. Why are they called that? You have to work. Work is hard. People who control work start it early. Everything that happens in the morning is alarming, hence the name of the clocks.

So I retired, five years ago. I called in: "Hello Work? You can't fool me. The world at 6 a.m. is an enigma made terrible by your mad determination to give it underlying meaning and truth." They didn't say anything.

What could anybody say (besides Bush who strangely got it right, very strangely)? You watch the early edition news and see even the politicians had been left outside all night. Why? To perpetuate the illusion that 6 a.m. really existed when, in fact, there is no such hour. Some (almost as strangely) might say:


But I vehemently adhere to my premise here, whatever it is. Oh yes, it is this: One may be a gardener and have blocks --in this case paving blocks

-- and there is an effect, caused by moss over mortar, that does not impede the underlying meaning and truth of gardening, or incite mad determination toward either. Plant life seeks organization even among blocks, but writer's block impels one, this one, toward overreaching fragile vases to get at the Pellegrino and knocking things over.

So how does a gardener of maritime lineage know whether his post is product of Gardener's or Writer's Block? He doesn't. He waits for that soft, subtle voice to reach him, not from within but from without. It says, "Ok, you can stop now."


36 comments:

  1. Since I often have moss on the brain, I'll assume that Writer's Block and Gardener's Block are vaguely connected.

    Alas, my mornings are always alarming....even without alarm clocks.

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    1. Yes, we have a definite connection there!

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  2. A gardener's work is never done - and needs many, many revisions. Cuts, additions, pruning. And is easy for me than writing, despite the very similar requirements. And I don't think a gardener CAN ever stop - though a writer probably should.

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    1. There is a commonality among art forms that keeps us full of the jumps!

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  3. I have quite a bit of mulch blocking my mind but maybe all it needs is a good raking. If you have the tools, you can clear the debris out.

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    1. Yes, my cerebrum could do with a good weeding, along with several subcortical structures.

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  4. My first 18 years of life involved gardening in one way or another. Upon hitting the age of accountability, a trowel was strapped to one hand and the hoe to the other. Now I actually enjoy it.

    I hate time change, by the way.

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    1. Now that you mention it, I suspect DST is responsible for my tantrum.

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  5. Who put the Pellegrino behind the fragile vases? Hmph. Maybe such a poor planner should be left out overnight with the politicians.

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    1. Nay, more likely I'd be put out for clumsy defiance. If I still had my tail, it'd be lowered in shame.

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  6. Oh so funny ~ especially "Hello work? ..." I love the morning, and I love ignoring the alarm clock when it goes off. Have a good one!

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    1. Thank you Fundy Blue! Ignoring the alarm is a permanent step toward all good things.

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  7. Would that I could surmount or circumvent my own ongoing block. I don't actually care very much what kind of block mine is, I just want to 'get there' wherever 'there' is without breaking ruining something in the process. Maybe blocks are put in place so that we are obliged to stop awhile, and simply Be. In any case, whatever the reasons, known or otherwise, blocks must be borne with fortitude and much teeth-gnashing.

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    1. Fortitude and teeth-gnashing should be required units in composition classes.

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  8. I have a lot blocking my mind at the moment! And I love how you were bipartisan in your video clips :)

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    1. Ah, compared to the blocks in the presidential clips, our own seem less severe.

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  9. The alarm clock sits silent with it's face turned to the wall ever since I retired. No longer is it alarming...no longer do I rise at 4:45am... Unless I have a (shudder) appointment, time does not exist at all. We eat when I say we eat, sleep when we feel like it. The fact that I don't need to use my brain as much as I did when I worked has resulted in overgrowth of something..not sure what...perhaps a gardener could help....but not if I have to make an appointment.

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    1. Sounds like a healthy and successful adjustment to retired life!

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  10. Norma's counter is delightful .
    I love how you entertain with your posts.

    I love to garden and can't wait to start.
    Mornings I love as I get up early and head to my granddaughter's house and then 'the fun begins'

    Poor George never did seem to get it right.


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    1. Thanks Margie! Yes, Bush stumbled a lot, didn't have Clinton's tap-dancing skills.

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  11. Every day, I write.

    And every now and then, what begins as work appears to have been inspired.

    Pearl

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    1. Kind Pearl, your work always appears inspired!

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  12. My daughter slipped on moss over mortar yesterday and got an enormous raspberry on her delicate little thigh. She was racing a friend to get to their bikes as it was sunny out. (And it wasn't even 6am. Though I suppose it couldn't have been, since it doesn't exist.)

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    1. So sorry your daughter got hurt! Must admit though, our kids left a lot of skin on tree trunks, brick walkways etc. before they left home to make their own homes --surprised grownups have any skin left!

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  13. I slipped on moss-covered bricks (or maybe, cobblestones?) in Kitzingen, Germany once, and slid halfway into the Main River before I caught a fingerhold and stopped myself from drowning. It was scary. I don't like mossy things now.

    What 'is' is? I can't believe the ridiculousness...!

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    1. Michelle, I too sometimes find myself skidding bodily to a fingerhold. There must be safer modes of locomotion and I shall devote myself to their discovery.

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  14. I know a few folk who have never seen a clock at 6am before!!

    ps.............I'm perpetually mossy brained!

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  15. World could use more of your kind of brain-moss, Helena.

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  16. I've been suspicious for a long time that this tinkering with time would be the cause of more brain farts than a truckload of bean counters could ever hope for. Yep. At least two recent presidents have proved it.

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    1. True, brain farts cross all lines, political and otherwise.

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  17. Dear Geo.,
    I love Norma's way to arrange single flowers - leucojum vernum in Germany is called 'Märzenbecher - March cup', thus indicating not 6 o'clock, but more 3 o'clock in the morning of the year. I do this single plant-per-little-vase myself - it spares us the wrath of the gardener about greedily picked big bunches of flowers in his garden ( thus creating a bare block of brown soil). The rolling pin beside the vases may contain a warning: don't disturb my artistic flower arrangement.

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    1. Thanks Brigitta, I relayed your compliment to Norma who, I assure you, has never lifted a rolling pin in anger.

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  18. Norma's counter is gorgeous. Given a choice between jewels and a beautiful slab of cherry, I'd pick the cherry every time, wooden you?

    As for blocks, if we let the mental ones sit unchallenged for too long, they just might grow moss. Could be, that's what happens to some of our more entrenched politicians.

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  19. Moss on the brain! I like that, it feels kind of soft and fuzzy – so thoughts would come out kind of soft and fuzzy, no?

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