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."