Liana and I decided to try a collaborative literary experiment: choose a topic that we would both explore from our different vantage points in Detroit. Although we only live a couple blocks apart, we seem at times to be confronting entirely cities, communities, and cultures—and certainly from different sets of experiences. To further explore these differences, we chose to open our experiment by writing about gardening. If you’d like to participate, we’d love to read links to your thoughts, too.
Someone (OK, it was me) has fed my cat Bengali food and now, when he smells it cooking, he meows out the window toward the neighbor’s house, running to me if I move or change positions or even glance up from my desk. Anne, someone is cooking my lunch! is what he believes he is communicating. We’d better go see if it is ready, together, here let me get the door!
It’s raining for the first time since I planted seedlings.
I woke up at eight this morning, and before having a cup of coffee, cleaned all the dishes, the literbox, the back room, watered the garden some and potted seeds. I ran water through the coffee maker, because it jammed up yesterday and I was too lazy to fix it.
June 1st marked seven months for me here in Detroit. I never officially had a house warming party. I’ve hosted musicians and poets who needed to crash for a night. I’ve had conversations with a bevy of reporters, but never have I had a full blown event. This Monday rectified all of that. A good friend of mine, Corina, who’s been a solid fixture in my life since moving here, wanted to throw a fundraiser in order to get to a writing retreat in Portugal, where her family is from. Initially, she had thought to do the event in her apartment, but after a while I suggested doing it at the Brave New Home because then there would also be a yard and the ability to grill.
Gardening isn’t easy, I’ve discovered. I weed one day and two days later it seems that all the weeds have come back. Some of them are kind of lovely, like the purple deadnettle, and the endless dandelions, even the tall fluffy grass I have yet to identify that I cannot seem to completely rid my yard of with my push mower. I’ve planted some seed so far, and plan to plant more in the upcoming week. It turns out you need soil in order to make things grow. Some people use raised beds. I think with my very limited skill set, the wood in my shed and access to the internet, I could probably build a few. I’m probably wrong about this, but it will not stop me from trying. I’ve promised myself many things once the school year ends—that I will spend more time writing for myself, that I will finish the tarot deck I’ve been working on, that I will finally actually quit smoking cigarettes and that I will spend more time outdoors.