The lower deck's container garden is coming along nicely. I love tending to the strip of pots in the foreground because the deck is just the right height from the ground for standing/back comfort. Picnic table was left behind by previous owners who said it was part of the original sale from first owner who built, enlarged, and landscaped the home. Love this particular bit of casual history of the human place. Continuity. We all - of the clan who have been at home here - have sat at this table. Dined, talked, thought and daydreamed. This year J. had to re-work one of the end caps on the back bench.
First Monarda Fistulosa flower in the first fully mature self-seeded stand from one of the original plants I grew from seed.
my unglamorous and not yet dealt-with pool-skirt addition to the deck containers. Mainly note many volunteer anise hyssop plants. I grow them for their flowers which I collect less fairly than most other flower harvests. I inter-plant tulsi pots which gives the bees another high-grade food source. In the background is my potting table - our former picnic table from the old place. In addition to work space the table houses two large asparagus ferns and an allamanda plant that winter in my studio.
These are thriving rescue self-seeded volunteers that I transplanted from a whiskey barrel in the field on a miserable rainy day in later April. They've required a bit of extra nurturing and encouragement but are now fully ready to be moved to permanent homes in some pots on the skirt addition.
This is the barrel which I allowed to be consumed by red clover. It gave me an extra harvest source and I appreciated that because clover is a flower where I am scrupulously fair about how much I take from the other species that thrive on her nectar. The first flowering is largely kaput. The biggest reason I allowed the clover to have its way is because of what that will give to the soil in the barrel. Have set aside some conditioner and amendments. Did not get the finnocchio seeds started in time so I'll sow the barrel with beets.
Un-pictured: a pair of swallowtails who swooped to nectar from my fledgling lantana. To give this beautiful easy-care friend as much sun as she needs I shift the pot's location at noon and in the evening. Most of the flowering plants I choose for the container garden can handle light shade for part of the day. Not Ms. Lantana. Was called to attain the plant and prepare a remedy for the new series that's emerging this summer. Didn't know that at the time. Just felt an insistence that had nothing to do with my personal wish-list.
This is a classic New World remedy in many commercial repertories. Its unique gift is supporting a desire for release and change in those who cannot or will not cry.
I used to be Ms. Clint Eastwood and flat out refused to consider taking this remedy. My rationale was pretty air tight, I thought at the time ... Well lookit, I never have sinus infections. Ever. and Chinese medicine says that's what happens when you don't cry as you should. Ergo if I never got sinus infections there was nothing ultimately out of balance about the fact that I refused to cry.
not so any more. children - and specifically Other children - in cages brought that wall down for good and all.
but I know plenty of folks who are still not-crying while also talking about it 'way too much for the not-crying to be authentically organic and just how they're wired. A few have written me to ask if I think it's something they should pay attention to and perhaps alter. I usually reply with just two words: I did.
Trees heavy and lush from a third night of rain fall in a row. Three of the five overflow tomato plants have set multiple clusters of fruit. The other two have fruit-cap forms. If I ever knew the proper name for that phase of fruit development I don't remember. The towering burdocks are there right in the middle of everything and thriving as they are, unchecked, because they are the King of this place as mugwort is the Queen. After snapping this I walked over to the plants which I've been too preoccupied to track in close detail. The flower stalks are a solid 7.5 maybe 8 feet tall. There is a trio there. They form a clearly defined boundary line/protective hedge. Beneath and behind them a quantity of small leopard frogs live to jump another day.
won't this make an awesome Hungry Ghost palace? Another left-behind item. May have always lived in this yard. For years now it has lived in the tiny pool cabana because J realized it was too heavy for him to manually lug into the woods where I envisioned placing it. Now I'm glad to have a place to work on developing it and also working with it as a shrine. This whole topic of racism, black/white relations, the emotional fever chart its evoked in me both philosophically and very personally have brought from deeper shadows any number of hungry ghosts. Right now as you read the words I've chosen with care and love, sure, but far more than that - in order to be respectful to myself and to you in equal measure. Right now as you read this I am showing you as gently and mindfully as I can who I am in my own white aspects. I'm one of those unabashedly impatient foot-tapping oh come ON type of raised-to-be-white girls inside an aging half white lady's born-to-racial equality-activism-via-Pearl body.
would give quite a lot (and I do realize I've said this before) to have Howard here to explainify - if only through historical contextualization - these painfully awful and increasingly strange days. Have had some kinda almighty struggle of late figuring out where (or even what) my personal sense of life processing via my ingrained sense of racial context is truly centered. What is my racial consciousness actually about and how do I upgrade it from all the overwhelming options. Things didn't really start turning around for me with that until yesterday. In the aftermath of the initial shift in focus and...I guess you'd call it more directly and personally calibrated racial triage and its solution.
From my point of view - if you're a white person - screw any further consideration/explication of your fragility for the moment. Just ... for right now ... Look on that part of yourself as, I dunno. Hillary's emails from a democratic/critical thinking point of view Read/play/think/engage through your strength and get back to self-examination of what was previously un-tapped info/general life awareness after the fact of moving through your strength first. You will truly (I promise) gain and learn a lot more from circling back to that other point later when you can also apply the direct retrospect of having engaged through your strength in the meantime.
Also: Read Zinn next. as in n-e-x-t. There's plenty of stuff to find here online to read for free. You might find relevant You-Tubes or Vimeos of him reading his words or speaking to the subjects they contain. Do this with great conviction if you balk or bristle at the idea and/or immediately think oh no that's not who I am. Who cares. About any of that. At a moment like this? Not relevant. You shouldn't even care. Not at the vastly needful moment of THIS moment.
Read Zinn specifically in relation to his work as an educator and activist during the Spelman years.
You're welcome. At some point this is going to click in a way where you WILL want to thank me. Instead pass the fire to somebody else who needs both the light and the warmth that only comes from collectively joined and collectively focused human energy.
p.s. notice how I'm not spoon feeding you from my wealth of collected Howard links?
that's on purpose.
what are you going to do with your strength.
Aim to push yourself all the way beyond your personal feelings. Especially those concerning your own self-relationship.
eta: definitely check out the article Mo offered in the second comment - under my name - below. This is where we, collectively, are.