Sunday, September 3, 2023

I didn't plant the corn stalks

that are growing beside the garage. Or the butternut squash vine that's winding its way across the yard. Things bloom where they are planted. And sometimes, in whatever random place the seeds have shaken out.

I try to save what I can. A year ago, someone I love ended our relationship. They sent me an email explaining their reasons. The reasons made complete sense, and at the same time, they made no sense at all. I wrote a response and deleted it. I wrote another response and deleted that too. 

Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night dreaming I’d been speaking to this person, alternating between defending myself and apologizing, explaining things in such a way that it would fix everything and we could wipe the slate clean and try again. But in the morning, everything was still broken and the slate was the same mess. 

The truth is the mess pre-dates the email by decades. Another sad thing: the two of us didn't make the mess in the first place. But we seem to be stuck with it, and even if I wanted to unstick us, it doesn't matter because the other person doesn't, at least not now. Maybe not ever. 

In the meantime, I feel as if this person has died. I am in mourning. It is a strange unacknowledged kind of mourning, where people who don't realize there is a rift ask me how this person is doing or call to share a happy story about them, and then I have to think about whether to pretend everything is fine or to reveal my shame and my grief. When what I really wish is that someone would say what we say to any mourner. 

I am sorry for your loss. 

And I would say thank you. I have grown where I was planted. I have saved what I could save.

Nudged the squash vine along, clearing a path for it in the grass. Carefully dug up a tomato plant growing in a sidewalk crack and transplanted it in the garden. 

The corn—I don't know what I can do with it. The soil is too rocky. The roots too close to the garage. The stalks are not far enough along in the growing process to produce much of anything, and whatever I might wish, it is likely too late in the season. 

No comments:

Post a Comment