Archive for February 24th, 2023

Back to the Garden

GC Myers- Solitary Song- 2022

Solitary Song— At the Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA

With all due respect for the wondrous ways people have invented to amuse themselves and one another on paved surfaces, I find that this exodus from the land makes me unspeakably sad. I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.

Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonder

It’s been warmer than usual here and with the recent precipitation, light as it has been, we are back to being Mud People. It’s one of the things that come with living in the woods. You can look at it as a bad, good, or indifferent thing. For the longest time, I decried the wet times of the year that left my boots always caked with mud and my studio floor forever in need of a good vacuuming to pick up the dried flecks of mud and leaf matter that somehow made their way into my space.

But as the years passed, I have come to look at it as a good thing, an earthy reminder that we live close in with the elements. The trees around and above. The mud and pine needles underfoot. The water running in the creek and the companionship of critters that live within our sight– the many birds, deer, raccoons, skunks, possum, squirrels and on and on.

Thinking of those things, the mud doesn’t feel like a hardship at all. If anything, when I do think of it now when the treads of my boots are caked with mud, it is more as a badge of honor, a symbol of the good fortune I have to be living in close proximity to the natural world, close to our beginnings and our endings.

To not have mud or paint on my clothes would feel strange anymore. And I am glad of it.

Here’s a 1970 performance from Joni Mitchell of her song Woodstock. I was going to include the wonderful version from CSN&Y but the sheer simplicity of Joni’s version really accentuates the lyrics for me.

And maybe it’s the time of yearYes, and maybe it’s the time of manAnd I don’t know who I amBut life is for learning
We are stardust, we are goldenWe are billion-year-old carbonAnd we got to get ourselvesBack to the garden


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