Saturday, March 28, 2009

Word Power

I am about to head out into the garden to start giving our soil a lift. I've been reading Diana Athill's excellent memoir, Somewhere Towards the End, all morning and wanted to share this:
Getting one's hands into the earth, spreading roots, making a plant comfortable -- it is a totally absorbing occupation, like painting or writing, so that you become what you are doing and are given a wonderful release from consciousness of self.
Considering I haven't felt much like myself lately, maybe some time outside will give my mind a chance to make its way back. Last night, as I was lying on the couch watching television for the 100th day in a row, I decided I've lost my self-confidence. But I suppose that's what trauma does, takes away the delicate balance between putting yourself out into the world and keeping yourself tied up tight, safe. My mother died in September. And it wasn't an easy death. Like Athill says, she's been spared the difficulty of death among her family members, quite a feat considering she's in her 90s now. I envy her. But mainly I'm thankful for this wonderful little book she's written that seems to be helping me today.

I've started a year-long countdown to what I think I might call The Year of Living Royalty. We'll see how it goes.


Beth said...

Hope you were able to find such a "release" while working in your garden.
Athill's book awaits me - it's next on my list.

Zesty said...

That excerpt articulates exactly the qualities of gardening that make me love it so.

Be gentle with yourself. We all need time to lick our wounds.

I don't think I've ever said it explicitly, but know that you have always inspired me and heartened me.