Committing to the Mistake and Writing in the Age of That Guy

The hunger divide between writing meaningful stories and writing what I am capable of feels like a gaping maw now. A novel draft I wrote in 2012 seems limp and unedifying. Great novels come out of periods of strife and war and social upheaval. My little domestic drama on paper seems out of step. I lay in bed last night rewriting my entire novel. It had power and endurance and spoke to the demographics and polarity in our nation – the great canyon between urban and rural, educated and uneducated. It could… Read More

Wildflowers and Weeds: A Sun-Addled Brain at The Green Study

It’s gardening season which means that here at The Green Study, the metaphors for growth are in full bloom. It also means that the sun has fried my brains and I have little patience for sitting at the keyboard. Still, with gardening comes the thinking, the settling back on haunches watching fuzzy bumblebees search for the first blooms and June bugs, startled and disoriented when accidentally uncovered. So these are some quick jots from the week, uneven and random, sort of like my lawn. ***** It was a tough first week for… Read More

If This Were Enough

The yard was muddy, but the sun was out and the call of the garden undeniable. I’ve been turning our front yard into a perennial garden over the last 10 years. If a garden could have attention deficit disorder, it would look like mine. Nothing is planted by height or color or for an eye-catching display as people drive by. There’s probably 50 different kinds of plants and flowers – things that caught my eye at a nursery or roadside stand or even better, plants that people have offered up from their… Read More

A Walk on the Wild Side

I came in yesterday evening after digging and planting most of the afternoon, dark rings of sweat on my shirt, dirt ground into the knees of my jeans. My hands were stiff from the jarring strikes of shovel and hoe into sun-hardened clay. After a shower, I tried to sit and write. Every five minutes, I was hopping up to do one chore or another. Normally, I’d spot this as procrastinating behavior, chide myself and force myself to sit again. It’s something else, though. With my computer crash of last week, I… Read More

Fertile Ground

It’s gardening time. Be prepared for wheelbarrows of garden metaphors, analogies and similes to seed this blog for the next couple of months. With a side of compost. The claustrophobia of winter has begun to dissipate. It’s too early to plant seeds outside in Minnesota, but the strawberries are poking through and the buds on the lilac bushes have begun to form. I got hit smack dab in the face by a meaty bug, likely disoriented and newly emerged from the thawing ground. While trimming raspberry canes and Concord grape vines, I… Read More

Gratitude with Attitude

I’m crawling out of a dark place to raise a hand in greeting. Hey, how’s it going? It’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and we Americans are preparing to do what we do best: eating and shopping. Like locusts we descend on turkeys and retail stores, driven forward by the primitive urge to acquire. See what I mean about a dark place? I have a tendency towards depression and cynicism during this time of year. All the family issues rise like dysfunctional zombies and remind us where we’re lacking. While people constantly… Read More

Leave Us the Birds and the Bees

There are so many things to be outraged by, but I try to find some eventual, rational stance. Just don’t talk to me about your perfectly manicured lawn, with the little sign on it that says pets and children should stay off of it for the next 24 hours. Yes, my neighbor. I’m talking about you. I like to stroll about my front and back yards in the morning. Morning dew makes my feet wet and cold. Rabbits dart by, startled by my intrusion on their breakfast nibbling.  The catmint, heavy with… Read More

Spring Respite for The Green Study

A miracle finally happened in Minnesota. Spring arrived. I can’t focus. I spent time in the dirt yesterday. I scoped out my tulips, crocuses (crocii?) and daffodils, uncovered, after a long winter’s rest. It’s a week of endings and beginnings for me and as much as I think I should write or at least should want to write, I don’t. I want dirt under my nails, mud on my boots, stray leaves and grass in my hair. I want to stand up, straightening sore knees and legs after laboring over a plot… Read More

The Patient Gardener

I’ve spent much of the last few weeks working in my garden.  The timing for hard labor and solitary weeding and planting is perfect. I’ve been fending off a depression that has lingered on longer than usual- perhaps the remainder of an impotent winter – little snow and mild temperatures. It feels more like mid-summer rather than spring and I lack a sense of time or purpose. By happenstance I began to read The Language of Life: A Festival of Poets by Bill Moyers. The book is based on a PBS series… Read More