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February 2nd, 2022

Who Is The Master Who Calls The Grass Green, And Other Gardening Tips

I was blind, but now I see. And boy is it difficult to look at, even though I can’t seem to turn away.

It was exactly one year ago that Anne and I rolled into Omaha with Modestine on the back of a tow truck. We had broken down just outside of Lincoln. The driveshaft dropped out of the transmission and left us stranded on the the side of I-80 for nearly four hours as night came on and the temperature quickly fell to below freezing temperatures.

Snow lined the highway and the hills and the lights of passing cars blurred past in broad streaks like little solar flares of light against the windshield.

We were weary. Worn out. Exhausted. It had been a long day of driving, then waiting, and after all that arriving at our new home in a mixture of excitement and fatigue. She was elated. And all I wanted to do was sleep.

The house was empty. It was our oyster. And in it was a pearl of hope, of dreams, of things to come. Things to be made. Day by day the rooms filled up with stuff we picked up from all over the Omaha area. Bellevue and Ralston and La Vista. Papillion and Elkhorn. Benson. Dundee. And then the house became our home. We had couches and a bed, a desk, a table and chairs. We organized the cabinets with bowls and cups paired in twos. We painted the walls and and hung pictures. Then there were books and records stacked on shelves and on the floor.

Anne gave the place life. Made a garden. Planted seeds. Watered them daily (If they were thirsty). Then her plants grew in the Spring. And she played, everyday. Moved this. Rearranged that. Asked my opinion. It felt familiar, the whole of it. It was ours. And I had my office, a place for myself, to escape and create and hide away from world, and Anne too. We’d fight and then make up and fight again each time in an attempt to move toward understanding and resolve. Then when the weather warmed we found ourselves going out with friends and spending time at the art galleries and parties.

As time went on and the fighting continued I found myself avoiding her. Hiding more in my own space away from her. Keeping my distance to keep the peace (Though this never works and it was my own physiological distresses that added to the mess of us). The rooms we filled with things of comfort were refilled with the memories of our tears and screams. Of the hurtful things that seemed to exude from my being. Hurt people hurt people. It’s true. And though neither of us are perfect I recognize my own contributions. Or lack of them. I recognize the love I withheld. How I kept it for myself. Gave my attention to others because I didn’t know how to find the balance between us.

I didn’t realize I was steering conversations toward discord.

Being defensive. Gottman’s five to one ratio thrown out the window. I had no idea what stonewalling meant. How that can affect the dynamic of a relationship. And it was only much much later I asked her, “Please forgive me for I did not know what I had done.”

Many days I spent my time alone in my office. Flipping through books. Pretending to write. Sometimes writing. Watching movies. Shows. And all she wanted was to spend time with me. To have my attention. The share in the makings of a life. Someone to wrestle through the hardships with, to laugh at the absurdity of it all. But I locked myself away and I’d watch her go walking down Fowler with the sun setting, her and Millie, and she’d wave to the neighbors, stop and talk from time to time, watch the lightning bugs, water her plants in the garden.

I know because I stood at the window of my office and watched her. I watched the life I failed to participate in.

Not to say that I never gave her my time. I did. I made adjustments to the front porch. Built steps. Fixed the siding on the house. Helped plant seeds in the garden. Moved mounds of rocks for days and days, endless amounts of rocks that the previous owner used in attempt to landscape around the back patio and they piled higher than the concrete so that when it rained all the mud and water ran towards the house and covered the patio in a dark wet sheet of debris. I cooked meals for us. Then later resented her because I always felt like I did the cooking but didn’t speak up so I lashed out in a fit of my own failure.

Occasionally I’d walked with her in the mornings or evenings after she’d beg me and we’d walk and I’d let her do most of the talking because she has a lot to say and it was nice to listen and nod and say my piece from time to time.

And I remember one time when we walked in the evening just as it was getting cool and there was just enough light to observe small details, and we came upon a lawn that had just been freshly cut and in the middle of this pristine green sea there was one small white flower that had grown up and out among the grass and had been preserved. The person who mowed had left a small tuft of grass around the flower to be sure they didn’t disturb its growth, didn’t hinder it from dispersing its seeds so that more beautiful things could grow and so continue in the feminine nature of nurturing the earth.

I think about that lawn. I think about the kind of gardener I’ve been. The flowers I’ve cut down without hesitation. The flowers I failed to notice in the absence of my sight. But innocence through ignorance is not innocence at all. It’s a failure to recognize opportunities of growth.

Like a farmer who fails to water his crop in the desert and everyday prays for rain.

Spring will be here soon enough. And the things that bloom will blossom from the cultivation of our attention. A friend of mine once told me, “Tend to the garden you can touch.” You just can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.



April 27th, 2022

Nothing Is What I Seems Though We See Clear Enough

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts of preservation. My mind becomes a mathematician working on the equation to move me beyond this state of barely maintaining…


April 19th, 2022

A Dead End Is A Second Chance At A One Way Street

Begin again.

These two words have become a mantra for me as I continue to fail to live up to my potential, as I have failed to grasp the ax of ill intent before it has been acted out, before it has cut down those in its path…


April 13th, 2022

Write My Epitaph Drunk On The Poems Of Neruda

They found his body near the entrance to the stable. His lungs had filled up with smoke and collapsed. In a catastrophic moment that was the end of it…



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