Wednesday, February 24, 2010

LXXXI: The Seedling

I shovelled my driveway this morning. Took a lot longer than was necessary. Like I was sculpting, not clearing the snow. I was so careful. I got all the corners just right, and made sure I hadn't left any shovel streaks. No trails of snow giving away my preferred pushing direction. I smoothed everything out and even put time into shaping the white mounds of snow now crowding the driveway's edge. The seedling kept me company.

Went inside for lunch. Got restless afterwards. But it felt good. Like I had purpose. I ended up in the kitchen staring at my coffee cup. But not in a distracted, detached way. More like I was studying it. Or like a man on alert waiting for some insignificant detail to emerge with the key to life hanging from its neck.

Susan came over mid-afternoon. We talked a little, ate, then got bored. "Mrs. Scurfield's house is like a plant warehouse," I said, by way of making conversation. "Everywhere, in every room. It makes me uncomfortable."

Susan breathed deep, laughed, and said, "I think it would do you good to have a plant in your house."

"No thanks. That seedling is enough."

"Oh God, Matthew. If anyone I know should be a gardener, it's you."



Anonymous said...

I like the idea of plants in the house, but with all the dust and little bugs it's just too "outside" for my taste of the "inside".
I make an exception in November-February though when I bloom an Amaryllis inside.

Also, Susan 7 is epic. I've wanted to comment on it for a while, but I'm not sure what to say.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Amaryllis. I think Mrs. Scurfield's got one of those. Probably ten of them.

Yeah, Susan 7 was one of my favourites to write.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how the coffee mug has replaced the essays on the trees. Is the character copping out of his self- imposed responsibility to pay attention to them?Is he moving on to a more controlled, distant contemplation of them via separation, and the new seedling, that is his to own.

He can destroy it whenever he wishes, unlike the real trees. (as he discussed with mrs. scurfield, it isn't his land)

It is profound that susan told him he could be a gardener.

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