Thursday May 21st, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with: perfection.

Kat and I transplanted all of our tomato plants into the garden this morning. Just the two of us. Didn't even take all morning.

I guess that's what happens when you have fifty-something plants instead of three hundred-something plants.

Pretty sure I can get used to this reducing the size of our garden thing.

After dinner I finished spot weeding the next row of strawberries and almost managed to get it fully mulched as well. It got dark just a little too soon for that to happen. But I was happy to have gotten so much done so quickly.

But at what cost...


It's really hard for me to only partially weed the remaining strawberries. Like, really, really hard.

I know there's no other choice at this point. It has to get done fast. I'm going through tomorrow morning for the first pick of the year - there won't be much, but that will change quickly. More and more berries will be turning red and ripe every day and they need mulch to rest on, not dirt.

So that means I have to pull the worst of the weeds, the stuff that would prevent mulch from getting to where it needs to go, and leave the rest. I have to be firm with myself. I can't get back into the habit of finding every last weed, untangling them one by one from the plants I'm trying to help. If I do that I'll end up finishing off the final row around the same time the berries are done for the season.

But, for me, that means letting go. Letting go of this picture in my mind of how I want the rows to look. Letting go of this neat and tidy ideal and accepting that there will be weeds poking up here and there. Letting go... of perfection.

Honestly, for the rows to look how I want them to before it's time to start harvesting from them I'd need two full time helpers. But it's just me. So I need to get it done, not perfectly but close enough, and move on.

But oh, at what cost...


Greg said...

Well done on the tomato plants! And even better done on catching up with all the comments on the blog too :)
While I can appreciate the desire to have things done right (which is essentially what most perfectionists are after), gardens seem like the kind of thing where actually, what nature wants to do is right, and the order we'd like to impose is kind of wrong. I think it might not be a bad thing for you to let the weeds not be completely weeded out, and see if the strawberries really suffer that much as a consequence. After all, if they still turn out the way you want, then you know that perfection is an illusion (here, at least); if they don't, then you get to say "I told you so!"

Sixticton's skinny thug had turned up in the town's ice-cream parlour with a girlfriend. He had swaggered in, his pants belted around his knees, his feet invisible in the trouser legs, and the cuffs dragging along a good foot behind him and she'd followed him in, her eyes clearly trying not to look at the rip in his underwear. Mary-Janine (her mother had intended to name her Mary-Jane but had sneezed when telling the vicar her name) has smiled her brightest smile and asked what flavours they wanted.
"This is my old lady," said the thug with a grin that stretched from ear-to-ear and revealed tiny diamonds glued to his front teeth.
"Your mother?" said Mary-J, confused. The girl, who was pretty by local standards (if she was standing by the Prettiest Pig at the county fair there was a better than evens chance that the young men would try their pick-up lines on her rather than the pig), frowned.
"My old lady," said the thug, emphasizing the words. "My main squash."
"Like... a pumpkin?" asked Mary-J, all the more confused. The girl stepped over the thug's trailing trouser legs and whispered in his ear.
"Squeeze. My girlfren'," he said. Mary-J smiled at last and said 'Congratulations,' with a salesgirl's sincerity. "We want the liquorice ice-cream," he said, and Mary-J bent to her task, scooping lumps of purplish-black ice cream that sat like a bruise amidst the other tubs.
"What's her name?" she said, making conversation.
"Perversion," said the thug. "'Cos her parents knew how she was goin' to turn out!"
Mary-J dropped the ice-cream scoop and lifted her head. Her wide eyes stared at them both like a rabbit transfixed by headlights. The girl elbowed the thug in the ribs so hard that Mary-J heard the crack, and whispered in his ear for long seconds.
"Right, right, Perfection," he said looking sheepish. "Not that other thing." There was more whispering while Mary-J retrieved the scoop. "That's her sister's name."

Anonymous said...

I don’t remember much from the dream I had last night. There were the usual elements of fantasy: settings that forever changed, flowing into one another like water in a stream; faceless people who you believed you’ve known forever but are really figments of whatever dream world you’ve been caught within; the inexplicable villain that you felt real hatred towards.
But there was also something unique to the dream. The strange man that continued to be a part of it was somehow familiar to me. I remember only my feelings for him; the strength and severity behind the loss of what I knew should be, and once was, mine. That feeling has haunted me throughout the day.
But what I’ve chosen to cling to is the idea that someday we would meet again, that this man that has haunted my dreams for the past seven years will find me at some point, that we will again be reunited and continue our love for each other as if the years apart had never existed.
And that, to me, is perfection. That is the only meaning of life. That feeling and realization is the only thing every person in this world is striving towards.

Marc said...

Greg - yes, now begins the challenge of *staying* caught up on comments...

I'm curious to see how things go this time around, and definitely hoping for 'just as good as usual'.

Ah, I have missed hearing from our skinny thug. I have no idea how he's managed to get himself a girlfriend, but I am impressed!

Ivy - that's some really lovely work, the emotions are beautifully conveyed. I like the ending sentiment as well.