Midnight in the Garden of Weeds.

Artemesia

I am weeding again, or still, or this is a never ending process.  I think about the metaphor of weeding, and I wonder silently as I pull the grass from between the woody stems of lavender what I can cull from my heart and soul and mind.  I think of a few things, generally not much, but a few simple things, learning to listen more, learning to react less, learning to let that great big heart people see from me right off the top, learning to let it work for me rather than against. Something.  I do not know.  I pull out one of those weeds the PO as in P___ing me Off weed.   I pull one out and its long root pulls and pulls and I have 2 feet of it in my hand.  It is satisfying when this happens, getting to the root.  I stand up, and this lovely sunny Saturday they come wearing ties and the women in long dresses that cover their skin.  I see they have Bibles in their hands and pamplets in their bags.  At various times in my life I have reacted negatively to these people, but today while this root is dangling from my dirty hands I decide to not be nasty.  I mentally touch my heart.

Have you read the Bible they ask me.  Yes I have I say, but I am not a Christian, to myself I say, I still have not come to terms with the whole Son of Man thing.  The talk to me of end times, how it is not the good being called up but the end of Satan’s reign on this earth.  I smile, not in our lifetimes I say, maybe not ever.  The man looks at me strangely.  He starts asking me questions, and when I answer he questions my answers.  Where did you buy that new Bible, oh I thought they closed that bookstore, they closed Borders I say, not Barnes and Nobles, what plant is that, it is allium I say, oh well your neighbor said it was some kind of onion, really I say regarding the tall stalk with the purple head, and turning to look at my chives and back again, yes says the Bible man he was eating it right out of his garden.  Huh I say, well he is a professor of dendrology at ESF, he is probably right, I look at the man and he says nothing, I guess he doesn’t know what dendrology is or maybe he actually believes me.  I realize in an instant that he is lying about something, he is hiding something and that he is questioning me because he lacks honesty.  I smile at him, and then turn to the woman who is with him.  She is a neighbor, her little girl is with her, she tells me she will stop by sometime to see if I have any questions. I just smile at her, who is that woman you live with she asks, I look at her, I guess they think I am gay because that is how she asks it.  The only woman I live with I say is my daughter.  Oh she is your daughter?  What is this?  Are you judging me?  I squint as the sun comes out from behind a cloud behind her.  I say nothing, I just let her judge me.  I know I will have questions, I always have questions, questions feed my hunger for knowledge, questions leave me tossing and turning at 3 am, what does all of this even mean?  I will have questions but I am not sure this woman in her black long skirted long sleeved high necked gown will have the answers.  The man interrupts my thoughts, well here is some information about the end times and Satan’s reign on earth. I take them from him, I tell him I won’t shake his hand, I hold up mine, my hands are dirty I say.  Like a professional he says, I squint again, no I say, I do it for pure pleasure. I feel a chill.

Later as we dance and sing out loud one of us says goodbye with a hug, why do we only hug people when they are coming and going I say, we should hug people before they say goodbye.  I hug Snuffeufagus, she whispers in my ear I love it when you call me Snuffy.  I love your hair, I wish I had the guts to do that with mine.  I tell her it doesn’t take guts, it takes a desire to dig in deep to who I am.  I hug the gypsy.  You are beautiful I tell her, a goddess, she giggles and tells me thank you squeezing me tightly.  I hug my sister who acts like a clown and is being silly, and I give it right back.  No one can tell you are related one of the Anderson sisters says.  I look at the three of them, in their glowing red hair, nor you I say back.  Later the older one says, you are all heart.  Yeah I say that’s what they tell me.  Speak your intentions aloud she says.  Hm.  I say, looking at her.  That is good advice.  And as I drive home I think of this weeding out, weeding out the weeds that pass for plants in my garden, pulling out the plants that are good plants but don’t fit just here or just there, about celebrating the life that dances in the spring wind, and grows in the fat drops of water that fall, and are nurtured by the heat of the sun, and find rest under the dark starry sky and waxing and waning of the moon.  I feel content with its course, but still there are weeds.

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